March 16th, 2017
February 4th, 2017
In a twist of fate, serving beef stew in sunny Florida turned out to be just the right thing to do. With company coming, I wanted to make my Guinness Beef Stew in honor of St. Paddy’s Day but had reservations about serving stew in 80 degree temperatures. On cue a cold front swept through and temperatures were in the 40’s and 50’s. We ate this warming stew on the patio wearing sweaters.
My Guinness Beef Stew is best cooked the day ahead so that you can remove the solid fats that come to the top. This also allows the stew to develop greater flavor. It incorporates Guinness Stout, Beef broth, carrots, celery, onions and the beef. Cooked slowly the meat becomes very tender. I usually serve this with mashed potatoes garnished with buttered breadcrumbs.
Instead of Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, you may want to try this Guinness Beef Stew. Guinness is an Irish Stout developed by Arthur Guinness in his St. James Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.
We will be heading back to North Carolina over the weekend. It has been a relaxing 6 weeks in New Smyrna Beach Florida. We have enjoyed it so much that we will be returning next year. Finding short term rental properties is challenging in this popular community. We were lucky to find this charming Spanish styled bungalow for our next visit. The owners are a delightful couple and we feel honored that they are willing to allow us to rent their vacation home.
GUINNESS BEEF STEW
2 1/2 to 3 lbs chuck roast, cut into large cubes
3 Tbls olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into large rounds
2 to 3 Tbls flour
1 16 oz can Guinness Stout
1 14.5 oz.can beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dry and salt and pepper the beef cubes. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the beef in batches until nicely browned. Remove beef to plate. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Return the beef to the pot and pour in the Guinness Stout and the beef broth. Add the flavorings and bring pot to a boil. Cover with lid and place in a preheated 325 degree oven.
Braise the stew for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. It can be served at this point, but it is better to let cool and then place in the refrigerator over night. Remove the solid fats that have accumulated on the top. Put the stew back into a preheated 325 degree oven and cook until heated through. Serve with mashed potatoes or Colcannon.
November 7th, 2016
Before I get to this delightful soup recipe, I have to share some fun I had last week. I have a dear friend who has moved just over the mountain from me. Barbara has built a lovely home on acreage with a barn. She raises goats for their wool and milk. She prefers a vegetarian diet. The two of us went to Whole Foods together on a shopping outing. It is obvious what each of us bought.
Sumo oranges are in season right now. They are a cross between mandarin oranges and navel oranges. Barb bought these. Because I was making the beef soup, I needed both beef shanks with marrow bone and oxtail. I asked the butcher for oxtail and he went into the walk-in refrigerator and brought out a whole cow’s tail and flashed it about. “Do you want me to cut this up for you?” he said. The look of horror on Barb’s face was priceless. He cut it up and we left the store giggling at our incongruent tastes. Barb said, “If you invite me to dinner I would prefer quiche and a salad.”
The heady combination of beef with bones and marrow, plus soy sauce, chilies, star anise and ginger makes for a rich broth and tender meat that cooks slowly for hours. A meat lover’s delight. Ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked Chinese noodles and broccolini. Adjust the amount of chilies to your taste. I used 2 Thai chilies in the soup and garnished it with slices of Habanero chilies. I will omit the too hot Habaneros next time, even though they looked pretty. This was slightly adapted from Hélène Dujardin on her blog Tartelette. It is best to make this a day ahead of time so you can skim the fat from the top after refrigerating.
TAIWANESE BEEF SOUP
Make this ahead of time so you can refrigerate and remove the fat before reheating
3 pounds bone-in beef shanks with marrow bones still on
1 pound beef oxtails
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 garlic cloves, bruised
one 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices,
5 scallions, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 star anise
1 teaspoons peppercorns
2 Thai chili, split lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted red chili paste
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
10 cups water
1 pound broccolini, stems halved
1/2 pound Udon noodles
extra freshly sliced Habanero red chili (optional)
In a large stock pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Sear half of the beef shanks and oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining oil and beef pieces.
Add all the remaining soup ingredients, except the broccolini, noodles and cilantro.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low, cover with the lid askew and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and falls off the bone.
Turn off the heat, and remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the beef cool then shred it off the bones. Discard the bones. Strain the soup into another pot and put the meat into that pot. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat that has risen to the top then reheat the soup on low heat.
In the meantime, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for about a minute. Set aside. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Divide the noodles and broccolini among 6 bowls, ladle soup over noodles and garnish with cilantro and extra chili if desired.
September 6th, 2016
Sometimes I crave this kind of casserole. Normally they are made with lots of condensed this or that along with hamburger and noodles. I have to admit that this casserole is that; but with a difference. I actually looked for heathy canned condensed soups. Here are two that I found.
Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato Soup has all natural ingredients. It does cost more than Campbell’s but I feel it is worth it.
Pacific Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup is also a good choice. Both companies have both cream of tomato and cream of mushroom.
Tomorrow is election day. We all need to make our voices heard. This Tomato Beef Country Casserole is an easy meal to put together. Then sit back and watch the results. I will be glad to get this election behind us.
TOMATO BEEF COUNTRY CASSEROLE (From Together as Family )
- 1 bag (12 oz) wide egg noodles
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (10.75-oz) condensed tomato soup
- 1 can (10.75-oz) golden mushroom creamed soup
- 1 cup milk, 2% or whole
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese or provolone
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions. Cook for the lowest recommended time because it will cook in the oven later. Drain when done cooking.
- While noodles are cooking, brown ground beef with the salt in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the condensed tomato soup, golden mushroom soup, milk, onion flakes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir together.
- Add the cooked ground beef and the cooked (and drained) egg noodles. Stir together.
- Pour into your prepared dish and sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
March 27th, 2016
I love this riff on an American hamburger from a French chef. As related by Dorie Greenspan in her book Around my French Table, her friend Helene Samuel is responsible for it. She created the cafe’ in the newly renovated Salle Pleyel Concert Hall in the 8th Arrondissement.
She wanted to put a hamburger on the menu that would appeal to French people who sometimes equated hamburgers with the McDonald’s version.
It has the bun and the pickle, but it has very French ingredients worked into the meat and topping; capers, cornichons, tarragon, sun-dried tomatoes and a red onion marmalade. Instead of the American cheese it is garnished with shards of Parmesan. It all sounded excellent to me.
The burger became a best seller and ended up being featured in The New York Times. I think you will agree that this is a worthy burger with French overtones. The only thing mine was missing was the sesame seed bun. Helene included that as an homage to the American version.
CAFE’ SALLE PLEYEL HAMBURGER (From Dorie Greenspan)
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes(2.5 ounces), drained and chopped
- ¼ cup drained capers (1.5 ounces)
- 6 cornichons
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves
- ½ cup flat parsley leaves
- 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin, chuck or mix
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
- 4 large sesame-seed hamburger buns
- 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
- In a small saucepan, combine red onion with butter, coriander and 1 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse sun-dried tomatoes with capers, cornichons, tarragon and parsley until finely chopped.
- In a medium bowl, lightly mix meat with sun-dried tomato mixture and season with pepper. Shape meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add burgers and cook for about 2 minutes on each side for rare or 3 minutes for medium rare. Transfer burgers to a platter and top with Parmesan. Lightly toast buns. Spread a thin layer of onion jam on bottom buns. Top with pickle slices and burgers. Cover with top buns and serve.
This is a recipe with a long history. About 15 years ago Robin Chapman from Ripley, Mississippi made this roast in her crock pot. It required a stick of butter, dried ranch dressing mix, dried “au jus” mix and a few pepperoncini. As most good recipes do, it was passed around, eventually landing in a church cookbook. But when it hit the Pinterest boards it went viral. I can appreciate that fact because my Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken did the same thing with thousands of pins.
But what brought the Mississippi Roast to my attention, was an article in The New York Times. This recipe had hit the big times. I was kind of wondering why The New York Times would be publishing a recipe with such weird and artificial ingredients. But it turned out that the back story of the recipe was the real reason for sharing it. You can read it here. And true to their beliefs in more sophisticated ingredients, Sam Sifton modified the recipe cutting down on the butter, increasing the number of pepperoncini, and making a homemade ranch dressing to slather over the top of the roast.
The New York Times version of the Mississippi Roast is the one that I prepared on the day before we left our Florida house for our return to North Carolina. It was a beautiful Spring day and it seemed fitting that we should eat outside. The shredded beef can be served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, but I decided to make sandwiches with it.
This a very good roast indeed.
Happy Easter Everyone! I saw this table arrangement on Pinterest. Thought you might like it.
- 1 boneless chuck roast or top or bottom round roast, 3 to 4 pounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 to 12 pepperoncini
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon buttermilk, optional
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Place roast on a cutting board and rub the salt and pepper all over it. Sprinkle the flour all over the seasoned meat and massage it into the flesh.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over high heat until it is shimmering and about to smoke. Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes a side, to create a crust. Remove roast from pan and place it in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the butter and the pepperoncini to the meat. Put the lid on the slow cooker, and set the machine to low.
- As the roast heats, make a ranch dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, dill and paprika in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Add the buttermilk if using, then whisk again. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and add the dressing. Replace the top and allow to continue cooking, undisturbed, for 6 to 8 hours, or until you can shred the meat easily using 2 forks. Mix the meat with the gravy surrounding it. Garnish with parsley, and serve with egg noodles or roast potatoes, or pile on sandwich rolls, however you like.