Beef and Bacon Stew

December 19th, 2018

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With the holidays fast approaching, thoughts turn to warming comfort food.  I would even consider this Beef and Bacon Stew a worthy meal for Christmas Eve or Day.  It has been a challenging week.  We were hit by a freak snowstorm that normally would not occur in North Carolina.  Five days without power tested our coping capacity.

Snow in 2018

It was a test of our capacity to get along without things we all take for granted.  We stayed warm because our home is well insulated and  we have a gas fireplace and a wood burning fireplace.  We stayed well fed because we have a gas stove and oven, plus the grill grate in the fireplace.  We stayed hydrated with jugs of water and other drinks.  The only thing missing was a shower.  That’s why we have friends.  Thank you to Ron and Jackie for a much needed clean up and a delicious dinner.  But next year we are getting a whole house generator.  Weather in our area seems to have taken a more violent and unpredictable bent.

 

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David is actually responsible for this delicious stew.  Over the years he has been cooking more of our meals with creativity and elan.  While I was finishing my wonderful new book in the series from Louis Penny, Kingdom of the Blindhe was chopping and assembling this flavorful dish.  It did require a new ingredient.  Miso Paste.  I found it at Whole Foods in the refrigerator section near the cellophane boxed lettuces.  Do not leave it out as it adds a great depth of flavor to the sauce.

Chistmas silliness

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I couldn’t resist including this outtake of our Christmas card photo shoot.

BEEF AND BACON STEW (BON APPETIT)

1 Bottle of dry red wine
1 2 1/2 boneless beef chuck roast
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
8 oz. bacon
3 medium red onions
3 medium carrots
8 coves garlic
4 large sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp. white miso paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Crusty bread (for serving)

Complete recipe here.

Chateaubriand for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2018

Chateaubriand

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a departure from the usual.  Our Son Michael loves to grill and decided to attempt a whole tenderloin cooked over indirect heat and then seared over the direct coals.  The inspiration came from Meathead Goldwyn in his iconic grilling book Meathead; The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.  The beef was outstanding.  Served with mashed potatoes and an updated green bean casserole, we never even missed a turkey.

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A whole tenderloin requires a breakdown to get to  a symmetrical log from the center.  The tenderloin tips are cut from each end.  The chain along the side needs to be trimmed away and the silverskin removed.  The trimmings can be used as a few filet mignon steaks, stew meat, and/or ground with some of the fat into upscale hamburgers.

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You will need to fold over the tapered end and tie it with string to ensure even cooking.  Once the chateaubriand is ready, dry brine it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  The dry brine is just kosher salt.  Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat all over the cylinder.  After the allotted time is up, remove the beef from the refrigerator and season it with a seasoning rub.

BEEF RUB
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

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Set up the grill in a two-zone configuration and get the indirect zone up to about 225 degrees F.  Place the meat in the indirect-heat zone.  It will cook slowly for about 45 minutes.  Check temperature with a meat thermometer.

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When the meat reaches 110 degrees F, move it to direct heat to sear.  Leave the lid open and roll the roast a quarter turn every 5 minutes or so.  When it reaches 130 degrees F in the center, move it to a cutting board.  Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

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Slice into at least 1 inch steaks and serve.  Serves 6 to 8 easily.

Parsnip Soup

Earlier in the day Kristen made a delicious Parsnip and apple soup with smoked almonds and scallions.  I don’t have the recipe but anything you add to it is enhanced by using an immersion blender to meld it all together.  Here is a similar recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

One of the most colorful dishes on our table was this fabulous Kale, roasted quinoa, purple sweet potato and apple salad.  It was such a seasonal delight that I would love to serve this every Autumn and Thanksgiving.  Kristen is so creative.  Remind me to get the recipe.  Will try to blog about this again or maybe Kristen will put it on her blog, Menubility.

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I made a Bourbon Pumpkin Pie from this recipe.  I add a Streusal Topping.  Recipe follows.

STREUSAL TOPPING

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Cool and sprinkle over cooked and cooled pie.  You will have extra for other purposes.

FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2018

We took some time over Thanksgiving to have photos taken for our Christmas cards.  We are lucky to have Christobal of Azul Photography as a family friend.  Let the Christmas Season begin.

Marmalade Meatballs

August 4th, 2017

Marmalade Meatballs

Melissa Clark, staff food writer for The New York Times has a new cookbook out called Dinner; Changing the Game.  I do not own the book yet, but it is one that I will probably purchase.  The premise is to make dinner interesting with a spin on traditional dishes. It also tries to make those meals doable in a reasonable amount of time.   Many of the recipes can serve as an entire meal.  Sheet pan meals have become very popular; all of the components cooked on one pan.  I made one on the blog last year.  But the chapter that had me interested was one called The Grind.  All of the recipes used ground meat.  These Marmalade Meatballs were delicious.

Marmalade MeatballsThe orange marmalade glaze was sweet and sour and added a nice punch to the meatballs.  Once the meatballs are formed it only takes 15 minutes to have them on the table.  So if you mix and form the meatballs ahead of time, dinner is quicker than calling for take-out.   I don’t know why I have never broiled my meatballs before.

Marmalade Meatballs

You can serve these slightly sweet meatballs over mashed potatoes, polenta or coconut rice.  There is a recipe in the book for the coconut rice that sounds very good. Melissa Clark has done a great job of making weeknight dinners inventive and exciting.

MARMALADE MEATBALLS

1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 cup panko crumbs
4 oil Packed anchovy fillets (optional)
2 scallions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tbls cider vinegar
1 tbls soy sauce
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
Fresh chives, for garnish

Set an oven rack at least 4″ from the heat source and heat the broiler.

In a large bowl combine the beef, panko, anchovies, scallions, egg, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper, and allspice and mix gently but thoroughly.

Form the mixture into 1 1/4″ balls.  At this point you can cover and refrigerate them overnight before cooking.

Arrange meatballs an inch apart on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil until meatballs are golden all over and cooked through; 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the marmalade, vinegar, soy sauce and red chili flakes and bring to a simmer.

When meatballs are cooked through, brush them with the marmalade glaze and return them to the broiler.  Broil until glaze is bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.  Serve with the chives scattered on top if desired.

Printable Recipe

 

 

Guinness Beef Stew

March 16th, 2017

Guiness Beef Stew

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.

Guiness Beef Stew

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.

Guiness Beef Stew

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.

NSB Rental 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.

Printable Recipe

Taiwanese Beef Soup: From Sumos to Oxtails

February 4th, 2017

Taiwanese Beef Soup

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.

Sumos

 

 

Oxtails
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.”

Taiwanese Vegetable Soup

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
cilantro
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.

Printable Recipe 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.