Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Meat, Savory

Classic Pot Roast

When the temperature is 22F, there is nothing quite like a slow cooked roast in the oven. This past Sunday, I tried my hand at making a classic pot roast and I have to say, there is a reason this is called comfort food. I would highly recommend making this recipe this winter season.

Ingredients:

3-4 lbs of brisket

4 medium onions, quatered

4 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

4-5 medium potatoes, cut into large cubes

2 springs of rosemary

2 springs of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup of red wine (pick a nice full-bodied wine, something that you would enjoy drinking!)

3 cups of low-sodium chicken stock

4 tsps of salt

4 tsps of pepper

4 tbsps of olive oil.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 300F

Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a dutch-oven. Fry onions and carrots with 1 tsp of salt and pepper each. You are looking to get a golden color on the onions and slight char marks on the carrots. Once they are done, set aside.

In the same pot, add the rest of the oil and fry the potatoes with 1 tsp of salt and pepper each.

While the potatoes are frying, season the beef with the rest of the salt and pepper.

The potatoes will not cook through at this stage, all you are looking is to get a golden color. Set aside.

Sear the beef in the same pot, about 3 minutes per side. All you are looking to get is a brown crust on the beef.

Set the beef aside and deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up all the delicious brown bits from bottom of the pan.

Add the beef and just the onions back to the pot, cover with chicken stock, add rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf.

Cover the pot and cook in a 300F oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, add the vegetables back to the pot and cook for another additional 1 to 1.5 hours, till the beef is fall-apart-fork-tender!!!

After a total of 3 to 3,5 hours, pull the pot out of the oven and remove the beef. Tent the beef and let it rest. Remove the carrots and potatoes from the pot, arrange them in the foil-lines baking sheet and roast them at 375F for 20 mins. The will remove the sogginess from the veggies and give them a nice roasted texture.

While the veggies are roasting, simmer the juices in the pot on the stove-top, skimming the fat from the top.

Serve large chunks of the brisket with the roasted carrots and potatoes and generous spoonful of the juices. You will also want a bing chunk of crusty bread and a big goblet of red wine.

Dinner, Meat, Savory, Stew

Pork Stew with Apples, Mushrooms and Sage

I guess you could call then a French recipe, but really, I was looking at what I had in the fridge and sort of threw it together, and it came together wonderfully! It is a perfect fall stew, easy enough for a regular weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough for company. If you make this, let me know what you think, I know I will be adding this stew to the rotation!

Ingredients:

3 pounds of cubed pork (I used tenderloin, but I would recommend pork shoulder)

2 small onions, diced

4 shallots, diced

4 stalks of celery diced

2 small apples, cubed (use whatever kind you have–remember to peel and core them!)

16 oz of sliced mushrooms

6 slices of bacon, chopped

1 tsp of paprika

2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups of chicken stalk

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of black pepper

2 tsp of sage

2 tsp of thyme

2 Tbsp of olive oil.

Method:

In a large dutch oven, fry the bacon till crisp. Set the bason aside.

Fry the cubed pork pieces in the bacon fat will golden, set aside

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot, and all the veggies. Saute for 10-15 minutes on medium-heat, till the veggies are pale golden and have softened.

Add salt, pepper, paprika, sage, thyme, and flour, and saute for an additional 10 minutes.

Add the pork and bacon back to the pot, add wine and worcestershire sauce, and cover with chicken stock.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook the stew till it thickens. This will take about 2 to 2.5 hours. Make sure to stir every 15-20 minutes to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom.

Half way through the cooking process, taste the stew and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

The stew is ready when the meat is fork tender and sauce has thickened. You should not be able to see any of the apples, they should melt into the stew completely.

Serve over a bed or creamy mashed potatoes.

Classics, Comfort food, Meat, Mexican, Savory, Soups

Instapot Beef Chili

It is that time of the year when the weather is cold and raw and the only thing that will soothe the soul, is warm bowl of soup (or stew or stoup). Beef chili can take a while to make, but not if you have an Instapot. I was shocked at how quickly (about 40 minutes) the chili came together and it tasted like it had been cooked for hours!! This is the recipe, that really convinced me that the Instapot was a great investment (although, I got mine from my in-laws, so kudos to them!). Everyone, has a preference for chili, but this is how I make mine.

Ingredients:
2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium green pepper, chopped

2 medium jalapenos (or more if you like it spicy) sliced into rings

1.5 pounds of ground beef

1, 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of chicken stock

1 can of kidney beans

4 tsp of minced garlic

2 Tbsp of cumin

3 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of cayenne powder

2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of ground black pepper

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of olive oil

Method:

Turn the Instapot ON to the saute setting.

Add olive oil and ground meat to the pot. Saute till brown. Drain off any excess fat (this will depend on the fat content of the ground beef. I used 90/10 and there was very little fat to drain).

Add the onions, peppers, and jalapenos to the pot and saute till the veggies soften.

Add all the spices and continue to saute for an additional 7-10 minutes.

Turn off the sautee setting and add in the stock, beans, and the crushed tomato.

Cook the chili using the “Pressure Cook” setting on “High” for 30 mintues.

Your chili is ready

Serve with your choice of fixings. We like to keep it simple and eat the chili with corn chips.

Classics, Dinner, Italian, Meat, Savory

Braciole

00000img_00000_burst20200620173510666_cover

This is my take on a classic Italian Braciole or beef-roll ups.  This is an easy and hearty dish that looks extremely elegant.  You can make the filling several days ahead and if you use store-bought marinara sauce, this meal comes together in about a half an hour, elevating any boring weeknight to date night!  Here is how I made this dish.

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200620173515721_cover

Ingredients:

For the roll-up:

2 pieces of flank-steak, pounded thin (the package might say “braciole)

A double batch of Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach

1 Tbsp of breadcrumbs

Salt and cracked black pepper to season the meat, about a 1tsp of each.

1 Tbsp of olive oil

Kitchen string cut into 6-8 pieces, long enough to wrap around and tie the rolled meat

For the sauce:

1 cup of marinara or tomato-basil sauce

1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

Method:

Cook the spinach and mushrooms (you can find the recipe here).  You will need to double the recipe so that you have enough filling.  The filling can be made several days in advance.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Mix the bread crumb with spinach and mushroom filling.

img_20200620_165447

img_20200620_165459

Divide the filling on to the two pieces of flank steak and spread it on to the meat.  Press the filling down, so that it sticks to the meat–it will stay in place when you go to roll it.

img_20200620_165808

Starting from the short end, roll the steak up like a jelly-roll, tightly; tucking in any filling that may fall out.

img_20200620_170106img_20200620_170112

Using the pre-cut kitchen twine ( I like to cut it ahead of time), tie up the rolls tightly.

Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet and once it is hot, add the beef roll-ups.  I like to add some additional cracked black pepper at this step, makes for a really nice crust!

img_20200620_171827

Sear on high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side, making sure you get the entire surface of the roll browned–not just top and bottom.  After you get the initial sear, you may lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, rolling the beef to a different surface ever 2 minutes.  The entire process will take about 15- 20 minutes.  It might take longer if your rolls are larger.

img_20200620_172016img_20200620_172454img_20200620_172651

let the beef rolls rest for at least 5 minutes before you cutting the string and slicing the meat.

While the beef is searing, heat all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepot.  You are looking to warm up the sauce so that all the ingredients get a chance to blend in and impart their flavor.  You keep the sauce on a low simmer the entire time the beef is cooking.

img_20200620_170805

To plate dinner, spoon sauce on a plate and arrange two slices of the braciole/beef-roll up.  Pour yourself a glass of red wine and dinner is served!

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200620173525087_cover

 

 

Meat, Moroccan, Savory

Pork Chops with Harissa

00000portrait_00000_burst20200611180436287

The past few days have been hot and humid.  It is too oppressive to turn on the oven and the sudden, thunderous, downpour (providing no relief by the way) makes grilling difficult. Under these circumstances,  I try to make quick, skillet dinners.  I also recently bought a jar of harissa paste, so I decided to make the best of the situation and make this dish.  It was a little experimental but turned out delicious.  If you are not a fan of pork or have dietary restrictions, the sauce will work really well with chicken, shrimp, or mixed vegetables.

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200611180502321_cover

Ingredients:

3, center-cut, boneless pork chops

1/8 cup flour

1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper, coriander, and smoked paprika

1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 tsp of minced garlic

1 tsp of tomato paste

3 tsp of harissa paste (not sauce)

1 tsp of chicken broth concentrate + 1 cup of water OR 1 cup of chicken broth

1/2 tsp of dried parsley

2 Tbsp of olive oil

Additional salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet.  While the oil warms up, mix flour with flour, salt, pepper, coriander, and smoked paprika in a bowl.

img_20200611_173405

Dredge, pork chops in the flour-spice mixture, and add to the hot oil.

img_20200611_173700

Fry the pork chops, about 2-3 minutes per side, till folder brown.  Set aside.

img_20200611_173952

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in the same pan.  Coat the sliced onions in the remaining flour mixture and add to the pan.  Sautee on medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes till they soften.

Once the onions start to soften, add the garlic, tomato paste and harissa paste.  Continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes.

img_20200611_174605

Add chicken stock concentrate and water, dried parsley, and reduce the temperature to medium-low.  Simmer the sauce for 3-5 minutes.

img_20200611_174914

Return the pork chops to the pan.  Continue to simmer till the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper as needed.  If the sauce taste too tart, you can add a pinch of sugar to cut through the acid.  This will depend on the harissa paste and tomato paste brand.

img_20200611_175341

Plate the pork chops with healthy dollops of the harissa sauce.

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200611180532890_cover00000portrait_00000_burst2020061118045735000100dportrait_00100_burst20200611180450780_cover

 

Dinner, Indian, Meat, Savory

Gosht jalfrezi

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200413171355648_cover

The word Gosht is a Persian word and loosely refers to any kind of read meat cooked till tender.  It can be mutton, lamb or beef.  This particular version of Jalfrezi is made with beef and is another one of my Simmer Sauce Solutions.  The vegetarian version of this recipe, made with paneer, potatoes, peppers, peas, and cauliflower is equally delicious.  Here is how doctored up a store-bought simmer sauce to make dinner in under an hour.

00100dportrait_00100_burst20200413171530118_cover

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of cubed stew meat (I used beef)

1 medium red onion, red pepper, and green pepper–diced

1 tsp of olive oil

3/4 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of chili powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne powder

1 tsp of ground cumin

1/2 tsp of garam masala

1/2 tsp of sugar

1, 15oz jar of Patak’s Jalfrezi simmer sauce

15oz water

Method

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pot and add the beef.  Make sure the beef is at room temperature and dry–otherwise it will not brown. Fry on high for about 5 minutes

Once the meat starts to turn light brown, add in all the spices except for the sugar and garam masala.

Sautee the beef on medium-high.  Chop the vegetables during this process.

img_20200413_155138

Add the veggies, to the beef and continue to saute on medium-high heat till the vegetables are soft.

Add the who jar of the jalfrezi simmer sauce.  Fill the jar with water, rinse our ever last bit of the sauce and add the liquid to the pot.

Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

After about 20 minutes, check to see if the beef is fork-tender.  At this point add the sugar and garam masala and simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat.

img_20200413_160703

Serve hot with basmati rice!

Asian, Meat, Quick Dinner, Savory

Sunday Stir-fry, Part 2: Beef Teriyaki

IMG_20200331_180033

In this stir-fry series (refer to part 1 for a more detailed recipe), I decided to change up the sauce and the protein.  I still but the Tsang brand of stir-fry sauces because they have the least amount of sugar in them.  This time, Teriyaki Beef was on the menu.  I like to but the think strips of beef that are cut for “stir-fry” (you can find the same cuts for chicken and pork too).  The trick to a good stir-fry is to have the meat at room temperature, the veggies cut, rinsed and dried, and a wok with hot oil! Start off by frying the 1 pound of beef strips on high heat for 5 minutes, remember, if you over-cook it, it will get tough and chewy.  Next, add the veggies (1 bag of frozen broccoli, 1 can of baby corn, 1 can or water chestnuts), 1tsp of red pepper flakes, 2 tsp of white pepper, and 1 tsp of ginger powder.  “Stir” “fry” the veggies and meat for an additional 2 minutes and then add 1/2 bottle of Teriyaki sauce and 1Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds.  Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes and serve hot over a bed of rice or with ramen noodles.  We devoured it just as it is!!!!

Classics, Comfort food, Meat, Savory

“Winter is Coming” Meat Pie

IMG_20190414_184756

I recently jumped on to the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon. Yes, I know I am about 8 years late, but I am here now, completely obsessed and can’t wait to see how the story wraps up.  This past week has been everything “thrones” especially with the HBO marathon going on.  In Season 4, there is an extensive description of a particular “Steak and Kidney Pie” made by the character “Hot Pie” at the “Inn at the Crossroads”.  As Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne hungrily tucked away large bites of the pie, I couldn’t stop thinking about how delicious it must be.  Decision made.  I am was to make a classic English Meat Pie (you can read the “mini” versions of these pies here–slightly different recipe though) to celebrate the premiere of Season 8.  Yes, the weather is warming up, but I hope you choose to make this recipe soon, we only have Game of Thrones on till the middle of May !!!

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds stew meat, cut into small bite-sized pieces

Chopped button mushrooms, carrots and onions – cut them small enough so that they are the same size as the meat.  You can change up the ratio, but I went meat heavy since that is the way my husband likes it.  I would reckon about 1/4-1/3 cup for each veggie would be sufficient.  

1/4tsp of dried rosemary, thyme, and sage

3tbsp of flour

2tbsp of good red wine, you know what to do with the rest of the bottle

1tsp of Worcestershire sauce

1tsp of paprika

1 can of chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for frying

Store bought pie crust

Method:

In a heavy bottom pan (I like my dutch oven), heat olive oil and brown beef in batches, seasoning it salt and pepper.  Once browned, set aside.

 

 

In the same pan, add a little bit more oil and add all the veggies and saute till pale brown.  Once browned, added dried herbs, salt and pepper and saute for 5 more minutes.

 

Add the beef back in with all the veggies.

Add flour, and saute till all the meat and veggies are coated with the flour and browned (5-7mins)

 

Add 1 can of chicken stock, paprika, wine and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer on medium low heat till the gravy thickens, the carrots are soft and the meat is fork tender.  This is a pie filling, so it has to be nice and thick.

IMG_20190414_122813

Divide the filling into individual “pot pie” dishes (OR one big pie pan) and cool the filling completely.  In the past, I have made a meat and potato version of this in muffin tins, with a double crust.  You can find that recipe here

IMG_20190414_131428_030

Cover the filling with thawed pie crust.  Crimp the edges to seal in the filling, add a slit on the top for steam to escape.

 

 

Brush the top with egg wash–this will ensure a deep golden crust.

 

 

Bake in a 375F oven for 40-45 mins till the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling underneath.

IMG_20190414_184804

Serve Hot !!!

IMG_20190414_184944

Classics, Dinner, Meat, Quick Dinner

Rosemary Pork Chops with Shallots and Mushrooms

IMG_2107

The inspiration for this dish comse from the classic Yeager Schnitzel.  Our favorite German Restaurant servers it with a rich mushroom sauce.  This is my light version which can be easily whipped up for weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

Boneless Pork chops

1 Tbsp of dry rosemary

1 shallots, slices

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, slices

2 tsp of flour

1/2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 Tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a caste iron skillet.

Season porch chop with rosemary, salt and pepper.

IMG_2097

Sear the pork chops in a medium high skillet, on both sides, till golden brown.

IMG_2099

Remove seared chops and add shallots and mushrooms to the same skillet.

Saute till golden and add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and flour.  Cook for another 2-3 mins.  The mixture will look very dry and will stick together.

Stirring continuously, add the chicken stock and the pork chops.

Simmer on medium low till pork 160 F at the center.  Remove chops and continue to thicken the sauce to your liking.

IMG_2105

Serve the chops with a generous smothering of the mushroom sauce.  Sauteed green beans are a wonderful side with this dish !

IMG_2106

 

Dinner, Meat, Moroccan, Stew

Beef and Sweet Potato Harissa

IMG_1667

As the Beatles said “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  For this recipe, my “friend” was store bought Harissa Simmer sauce.  I keep reading about Harissa in magazines and have always wanted to try it.  However, this past weekend, I was in the mood for something delicious and fast.  So, I used the simmer sauce.  But I did doctor it up.  It turned out delicious! I mean, really delicious! MIND-BLOWING DELICIOUS!  Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1.5lbs stew beef

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 large red onion, diced into large chunks

1 tomato, diced

1 can of red kidney beans

1 packet of Harissa simmer sauce ( I used Saffron Road)

2 tsp of cinnamon

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

2 tbsp of chopped scallions

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

IMG_1698

Method:

Brown the meat in oil and set aside.

IMG_1699

Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, salt pepper and cinnamon and cook till vegetables soften.

Add the meat, beans and pour in the sauce.  I filled the pouch with water to rinse off every last bit of the sauce and poured it into the pot.

IMG_1709

Simmer on medium high heat for 30 40 mins, till meat and vegetables and fork tender. Add scallions at the very end and take off heat.

Serve hot with polenta or couscous.

IMG_1666