Recipes

Buttered Toast

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Toast should be the most simple recipe ever right?

Bread in a toaster, or bread and a fat in a pan. Dassit.

So the basis for good toast then relates to the quality of each of these ingredients. Let’s dive in shall we?

I am a toast fan and I honestly love that fancy toasts are now making their way onto brunch menus, even though they are exorbitantly overpriced. Luckily, they’re no eggs benny and at home undertakings are probably more beneficial than ordering them at a restaurant. But, you gotta get quality ingredients to ensure the flavor will be primo.

The two toasts I was inspired to make on a rainy day a couple weeks ago were indeed superb, bolstered by the fact that I had invested in good bread and European butter. I could write a sonnet, an essay, three books to European butter and I still would never have said enough about it but I’ll be short here: European salted butter is the best thing humanity has invented. The flavor, smell, and texture are so pure so real so lovely UGH I cannot say enough good things.

The most important ingredient when it comes to toast is bread, and i was able to find a lovely loaf of whole wheat sourdough, uncut. I believe it is very important to buy uncut bread when you are making toasts because you need to decide how thick your slice should be based on your toppings. (It took me quite a bit of time to find an uncut loaf in the grocery store and I was livid, in my next life I’m going to be a baker and commit all of my time to making good bread widely available). You want a hearty bread, to hold up to your toppings and to pair well with the flavors you are going for, I’m a die hard sourdough fan but go where your tastes take you.

Execution:

  1. Slice your bread to your preferred thickness, drop a couple of pats of good butter into a pan on medium low heat. Once the butter is melted and starts to bubble, drop your bread in.
  2. Let the bread come to a nice even golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, keep an eye and don’t let it burn. Before you flip your bread, add a couple more pats of butter so that the bread is evenly coated.
  3. Take out of the pan, crack some pepper overhead, and devour.

 

Or top with any number of things such as…

  • Scrambled eggs – I followed Gordon Ramsay’s perfect scrambled eggs recipe because I was feeling fancy and felt like to maintain the structural integrity of my toast I needed very tiny curds of creamy eggs versus thicker, curds of a fried egg.
  • Prosciutto/bacon/pork products
  • Greens – there are obviously a multitude of greens you can put on toast. I topped mine with dandelion greens because they are wonderfully bitter and cut the richness of the eggs and prosciutto wonderfully. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Smoked salmon/cooked salmon
  • Tomatoes and avocado – in a twist on bruschetta, you can’t go wrong with tomatoes or avocados on toast. Their brighter flavors balance with the butter and the bread nicely. Be careful though, they are recipe for having all of your ingredients slip and slide off of your toast
  • Anything else you can think of – I went the savory route but you can have a very good time piling sweets on your toast (though you may want to use unsalted butter), or any other savory item that comes to mind. Cheeses, olives, schmears of all kinds would be delicious additions. Keep the color scheme alive and active and you can’t go wrong. And honestly you don’t have to top it with anything and you can just enjoy some buttered toast.

 

Eat well and be good piggies.

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Recipes

My (Caramel) Chocolate Cake with Kool-Aid

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Chocolate cake is one of the only cakes worth making in my humble opinion, apart from pound cake. And cheesecake. And maybe that opinion isn’t very strongly founded but it is an important cake. As I’ve said before I truly enjoy challenges in the kitchen so in celebration of a friend’s recent birthday, I made the richest cake I could think of.

There were three parts to said ambitious cake. First and foremost, the cake itself. I actually followed Bon Appétit’s Simple Two-Layer Chocolate Cake recipe. This recipe struck me because it follows the goddess Ina Garten’s advice to always use coffee in your chocolate cake (an excellent tip I will be taking with me everywhere). But this recipe also stood out to me for its heavy vanilla extract usage and the brown sugar. This struck me because the recipe calls for no white sugar and the scent of this cake baking is so immensely powerful I wish I could package it as a candle and wear it as a scent. When I start a company it will be called brown sugar and chocolate. I’m going to name my kids brown sugar and chocolate. But I digress. I did not, however, use their recipe for the ganache, instead I used…

Yolanda Gampp’s Dark Chocolate Ganache recipe! I love love love her so much she is my favorite Canadian baker and also my favorite youtube star. Her attention to detail makes her cakes look great and I assume taste delicious because this recipe was the bee’s knees. It’s so simple and so delicious. Serious tip here though, make this ganache the day before and let it cool in the fridge overnight. The next day, pull it out and let it soften to frosting thickness. Give the ganache ample time to reach the perfect spreadable consistency. Otherwise, you will DESTROY your cake trying to spread your ganache. Now for the caramel drizzle!

Caramel Sauce Recipe:

What You’ll Need:

  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ⅔ cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsps. Of butter
  • 1 tsp. Of vanilla

How To Do It:

  1. In a tall saucepan, mix the sugar and water then place over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then stop stirring but keep a close eye.
  3. The mixture will begin to color, once it reaches a rich amber turn off the heat, stand back, and add the heavy whipping cream, stirring vigorously. The mixture will bubble up alot, do not be afraid but be careful.
    1. Tip: if the mixture begins to color unevenly, feel free to swirl the pan in order to spread the coloring. Do not stir, as you can cause crystals to form.
  4. Add the butter and the vanilla. Let your mixture cool. This is important because if you pour it over your cake too warm it will melt the ganache and spread too quickly, let it cool in your fridge for an hour or two.

To assemble, frost your cakes with the ganache, drizzle the caramel sauce over the entire top, then sprinkle the top with Maldon sea salt flakes for that extra flair. If you’d like, serve with a glass of cold Kool-Aid.

 

Eat well and be good piggies.

Recipes

Easter Eggs

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Easter is always a happy time of year for me. Spring is usually just stretching its warm fingers across the sky, I’m back in my dear and lovely DC, and I’m diving back into whatever vices I gave up for Lent. This year I was particularly excited to make my return from the land of veganism, with special awareness that my father was making a leg of lamb and that my aunt and I would be making a veritable smorgasbord of culinary delights.

So, I set out to do my research on the dishes that I wanted to make and I was struck by the lack of eggs in my diet, and the need for them in my mind. It also helps that eggs probably get the most shine during the Easter season and thus my cravings were directly on theme. Two dishes cracked through the egg shell of my mind: a quiche and deviled eggs. If you’d like to learn how to make my renditions on the two, follow below!

Quiche a la Westside-Ambre:

I love quiche lorraine and when I say I love it I mean I LOVE it and would sacrifice a great deal to eat it all the time. However, quiche lorraine is pretty basic and not accessible to all of the eaters present at Easter dinner (read: no pork on their fork). Luckily, I remembered that the Westside chain of grocery stores in New York makes a phenomenal cauliflower quiche filled with cheese and I thought “let me upgrade you” and thus this recipe was highkey born.

What You’ll Need:

Crust: (taken from one of my Aunt’s old cookbooks, a bible in its own right)

  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • ¼ tsp. Of salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter FROZEN, and cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsps. Of raw wheat germ
  • 6 tbsps. Of ice cold water

Filling:

  • 2 tbsps. Of olive oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into tiny florets
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (or more depending on how much you love garlic)
  • A bunch of swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (lol like how they sell it in the grocery store that is a correct term of measurement)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (I like the Vermont white cheddar tbh)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 6 eggs + 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ¾ cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 3 stalks of scallions, rinsed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Do It:

Crust:

  1. Place the flour, wheat germ, and butter into a food processor. Pulse quickly to coat butter, about 3-4 times.
  2. Continue to pulse and pour in water in an even stream until you’ve poured in all of it. Pulse dough until it just begins to hold together. Remove from food processor, press together into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, but I usually leave it overnight.
  3. Press (or roll) dough into an 11-inch quiche dish and then allow to chill in fridge while you prep the filling.

Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. To this pan, add garlic and shallots and sautee until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add cauliflower, toss to ensure it is coated in the olive oil and cook until just barely tender, 5-7 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool.
  7. While the mixture is cooling whisk together, eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, half and half, and scallions in a large bowl, set aside.
  8. Once the cauliflower mixture has cooled to room temperature, mix in the shredded white cheddar.
  9. Remove your quiche crust from the fridge and fill it with the cauliflower mixture, being sure to spread it evenly over the entire crust.
  10. Gently pour your egg mixture over the cauliflower mixture, being careful not to overflow the dish (you can let it get pretty high however, as this dish does not rise much in the oven).
  11. Take your goat cheese and slice it or scoop it as you please over the surface of the quiche.
  12. Put your quiche in the oven and let bake for 60-80 minutes, or until the edges are nice and golden brown and the center is solid but jiggly.
  13. DESTROY

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Deviled Eggs:

Deviled eggs have been hot to trot in the foodscape lately. Every restaurant is adding them to the menu, trying to add some personal twist, and then charging you heinous prices for a glorified boiled egg with mayo. And I love every single thing about it. Many of my fave restaurants have begun to leave the trend behind and I find that disheartening, but in an attempt to offer my own sacrifice to a culinary icon, I came up with this recipe. BE FOREWARNED: no measurements moving forward, deviled eggs are all about risk and payoff anyway.

What You’ll Need:

  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard, good mustard, think Maille dijon originale
  • Hot sauce
  • Capers packed in liquid
  • Relish, sweet vs. dill is up to you, but I used dill in this recipe
  • Prosciutto
  • Microgreens
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Do It:

  1. Boil your eggs. Bon Appetit’s guide to making hardboiled eggs details that you ought to fill the pot to an inch above the level of the eggs and bring to a boil from cold, then remove from heat and douse in ice water. I’m led to agree with them.
  2. Peel your eggs. Icing your eggs in the first step becomes very important here because the ice water will cause the eggs to contract cleanly away from their shells giving you the space to peel. Without that, you’re likely to get ugly deviled eggs due to clingy shells, and no one likes that.
  3. Slice your eggs in half and place the yolks in the bowl of a food processor and whites on the dish you plan to serve your deviled eggs in.
    1. Pro Tip: clean your knife with each slice. I know this sounds cumbersome and annoying but it will give you a better cut and you won’t drag excess yolk across your pearly whites.
  4. In the bowl of your food processor add (depending on the amount of deviled eggs you’re making) a couple scoops of mayo, some dollops of mustard, a few good shakes of hot sauce, a couple spoonfuls of capers and then a couple spoonfuls of caper juice, JUST THE JUICE from your relish, salt, and pepper.
    1. Pro Tip: You can always add more of any ingredient but it is impossible to take away so start on the lighter end and build as necessary.
  5. Pulse your food processor until the mixture comes together into a smooth paste without a single chunk. This may take a while, be patient. You may need to add more mayonnaise or caper/relish juice, but be patient, observe, and mix as needed. Taste as you go as well until you find your perfect balance. Remember that the juices from the relish and capers will be salty and have greater depth, so you may want to go lighter on salt and add those instead so long as your paste stays thick and rich.
  6. Once your paste is complete, scoop it out into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag (then just cut a tiny hole in the corner, voila! A pastry bag!)
  7. Pipe as much filling as you would like and as you have to offer into your dreamy little egg halves. You can stop here, or follow tradition and sprinkle paprika, but I have a few little additions…
  8. Take your slices of prosciutto and crisp them in a 400° oven. Break them into shards and stick them into your filling for more flavor and beauty. Or, chop your microgreens and sprinkle them over your eggs for a pop of color and flavor. Or, add whatever you like! Bacon, crab meat, greens, the world is your oyster or perhaps in fact, your deviled egg.  

 

Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Commentary on Bougieness

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Chocolate chip cookies are one of the few foods that span the gamut of bougie. You can have cold pre-made cookie dough from your favorite grocery store. You can bake the recipe according to the back of the chocolate chip bag (which also ranges in levels of extra) or you can follow a high falutin recipe posted by any number of websites (haha stay tuned). That is something I’ve always appreciated about chocolate chip cookies. No matter the person you can cater a recipe to them and not even hit the tip of the iceberg with knowledge on them. I’ve compiled a list of three recipes below (one of them being my absolute favorite and a labor of love who’s recipe I’ve tinkered with) that in my opinion span levels of bougieness and are a good jumping off point into the world of chocolate chip cookies.

Just know you can always get a tube of dough from Pillsbury too though.

“Secret Recipe” Chocolate Chip Cookies:

This is a recipe that I have shifted and tinkered with for some time (since I was about 11 or 12) but it is not necessarily novel in its essence. A fat bready cookie filled to the brim with “toppings” my dad asks for these any time I’m home and I used to know the entire recipe by heart.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup rolled oats (raw, old-fashioned don’t use the quick oats if you can)
  • 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter (softened!)
    • I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to use softened (and not melted) butter in ALL of your chocolate chip cookie recipes, unless the recipe states otherwise. Melted butter will change the texture of your cookies for the worse. Either leave your butter out overnight or follow any number of tricks to soften your butter quickly (besides just microwaving it)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup crushed walnuts (tip: beat a package of chopped walnuts with a rolling pin to achieve desired result, be careful not to pop the bag!) (optional)
  • ¾ cup raisins (optional)

How to Do It:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Blend rolled oats until they resemble flour. Mix ground oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand) cream together sugars and butter. When fluffy and well blended, add lemon juice and vanilla, beat together.
  4. One at a time add eggs to your sugar and butter mixture. Wait until each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into your egg mixture. You can do this by hand or using a mixer, but be careful when using a mixer as not to send flour flying everywhere.
  6. Add chocolate chips, walnuts, and raisins to your dough. Fold in by hand.
  7. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop out dough, round it in your hands, and place on a baking sheet. Be sure to keep a couple inches between each cookie so they don’t blend together into one.
    1. You can use wax paper, foil, a silpat to keep your cookies from sticking. I find, that there is enough butter in them that they don’t stick no matter what so I usually use nothing.
  8. Put cookies in oven and bake for 14 – 17 minutes. Here are my thoughts: I like chewy cookies that are almost underdone so I shoot for 14. My dad likes crispier, almost burnt cookies so I’ll leave them in until 17 for him.
  9. Take cookies out and let them cool on a cooling rack and then put them in an airtight container for storage. Or devour them on sight.

Side Note: I hate walnuts and only began putting them in these cookies at my brother and father’s request. As much as I dislike walnuts, they shine in these cookies and the varying sweetness between the chocolate, raisins, and walnuts creates a delicate and delicious balance in these cookies. I would recommend, just once, making them with all the toppings listed and if you hate them, then back down to just 1 or 2. Enjoy!

 

Vegan NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies:

I got this recipe from the Well Vegan and the recipe is linked here.

Baking has been getting me through this bout of being vegan and these cookies are a true blessing. As they “mature” the flavoring solidifies and they really do taste like a tried and true bougie chocolate chip cookie. A title worthy of a recipe that was birthed from a New York Times article. I think this can be attributed to the fact that these cookies use vegan buttery sticks rather than just coconut oil keeps the dough together and also do not overpower the flavor of the cookies. Fresh out of the oven, they taste like the applesauce that is in them, but as the days go on this fades leaving just the bliss of chocolate and salt. Dark chocolate is a given here as they tend to be vegan and also the sweetness of a milk chocolate would overpower the cookie. Maldon sea salt flakes are also necessary here as you need the sharp tang of flaky salt rather than the mellow build of table salt. One interesting portion of this recipe is that it calls for the dough to be chilled for at least 24 hours in order for the dry ingredients to truly soak in the wet. This leads to a chewy delightful cookie instead of a crisp one, a point I am constantly in arguments about. In April I’ll be sure to prepare the original NYT recipe, but for now these are doing me every bit of justice.

 

Queen Bougie Bon Appétit’s Chocolate Chip and Toffee Cookie:

So you can see the progression in bougie here. We went from just softened butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips, to softened vegan butter and dark chocolate chunks sprinkled with sea salt, to browned butter, chocolate ~disks~, toffee, and salt. Coming from the bougie queen to rule them all, Bon Appétit’s Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies. This recipe departs from a great deal of our previous learning. First and foremost, the butter is not only melted, its browned, lending a crispier edge, this is balanced by the disks of chocolate in the place of chips. The disks spread and thin as they melt creating layers of chocolate which keep the cookie gooey in the center. The addition of toffee should also be highlighted as a step to keep the cookies soft and chewy in an effort to balance out the melted butter. These cookies also call for a short period for the flour to “hydrate” (God I love how bougie this publication is). As you can tell from the compilation of these recipes, chocolate chip cookies do have a tried and true form, and while everyone enjoys riffing off of this, a chewy chocolate chip cookie (say that five times fast) has a few stalwart rules to follow. If you have your own favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes send them to me! And enjoy squeezing out the last little bit of winter with a warm cookie and a cold glass of milk (or enjoy them year round like me).

 

Eat happily and be good Piggies.

 

Recipes

Winter Stew Series: Ratatouille

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So I’ve made a habit in the past of becoming giving up meat for Lent, aka going vegetarian. This year I decided to step it up a notch and go vegan. Read: no cheese, no yogurt, two of my biggest vices. I’ve taken this challenge head on and rather obsessively (more on this in February’s final post). But, I have to eat, and in order to eat I have to cook, and I wanted something to warm me in these not-so-cold winter months. I ruffled through my cookbooks and found one French recipe that is indeed vegan. Et voila. (Note: I departed from my cookbook and from the Ratatouille Disney trademarked recipe on my apron)

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 medium spanish onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Basil (for serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s How to Do It:

  1. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil.
  2. Chop onion and add into the pot, cook until translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse all veggies and chop into desired shape.
    1. For me: Eggplant and zucchini in medallions (does not matter if the eggplant medallions are quite large)
    2. Tomatoes into quarters
  4. Smash your garlic cloves and peel them
  5. Place all veggies and garlic in the pan. Cover and reduce heat slightly. Let cook until the vegetables have broken down, 45 – 90 minutes.
  6. Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  7. Serve, top with torn basil leaves. Devour!

Like I told you, not the trademark Disney Ratatouille recipe but a simple delicious dish of vegan goodness anyway. You may still have a flashback like Anton Ego. (I’m def Collette Tatou by the way, if we’re dibsing characters).

 

Be good and eat happily Piggies!

Recipes

Cinnamon Biscuits

DSCN0380First off let me say, these are cinnamon buns without the yeast. Imagine a soft crumbly buttermilk biscuit but sweet with cinnamon shmear, ta-da! This recipe came as part of a box set sent as a promotion to entice you to buy more. I don’t think the business is even an entity anymore, my dad had to dig this recipe card up from the treasure trove at home.

I love a challenge when it comes to cooking and that is something I assuredly want from my food. It makes me feel like a real chef and that I am becoming more of an expert than before. Baking is always a challenge, thus in my early years before 12 I would challenge myself to wake up before the entire family and make these. Now that I know how to make a nice cream cheese frosting, these are begging for my attention and early-morning rising. Follow below!

What you’re gonna need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup of buttermilk
    • I don’t know if anyone else has had this issue, but buttermilk is a b-word to find. Most grocery stores no longer stock it or they only have fat-free versions (barf). You can make your own by taking 1 cup of milk and adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir to combine (let sit for a couple minutes) then measure and use!
  • 1 stick of butter, soft enough to spread easily
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Here’s how we do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and grease a 9-inch circular cake pan or pie pan.
  2. Mix all of your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large bowl.
  3. Add vegetable oil then buttermilk and mix just until combined.
  4. On a dry surface, sprinkle a light layer of flour, then dump out the dough and roll it out until it is ¼-⅓ of an inch thick.
  5. Spread the entire stick of butter over the surface of the dough. Mix the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle that over the butter. Then, gently roll up the dough into a cylinder, pinch the seam to seal it.
  6. Cut the roll into 1 ½ inch slices and put in the pan, cut side up. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Obliterate.

Optional icing:

Personally, I think cinnamon buns are just a vehicle for cream cheese frosting. I mean, does Cinnabon even sell naked buns? No. So here’s a quick recipe for cream cheese frosting specifically for cinnamon buns. Thank me later.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons of milk

What you gotta do:

  1. Cream together the powdered sugar and cream cheese in a mixer
  2. Add vanilla
  3. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached

Smother this all over your cinnamon biscuits and revel in the feeling of overcoming a challenge.

 

Eat happily and be good piggies.

Recipes

Winter Stew Series: Boeuf Bourguignon

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I’m going to the fatherland!

I am spending the next week and some change in France being a gluttonous pig and I thought, you all should have a little taste of what that is like. Now boeuf bourguignon is a delicious dish, one of my favorites that my father makes, and one that there are about a million iterations of. I like to keep it simple, to focus on the beef, and to take my dad’s tips to heart.* Follow below!

*This recipe is a riff on Great Tastes: French’s Boeuf Bourguignon, my father follows the recipe from his french cookbook or Bible as I call it. Though both will help you achieve beef stewy goodness.

This is not a “healthy” dish so consume it in moderation but also follow the directions even if your arteries tell you no.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 lbs. Of Chuck beef
  • 3 ½ cups of red wine (get a full bottle to be safe, and also have one to serve with duh)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsps. Of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tbsps. Of flour
  • ½ of a pack of bacon, preferably thick cut, cut into squares
    • Here, my father uses fatback instead I believe, which is a solid square of bacon with very little meat, the option is yours
  • 2-3 peeled shallots
  • 10-12 small button mushrooms
  • A bay leaf, a couple stalks of parsley, and a couple sprigs of thyme (or a bouquet garni!)
  1. Chop your beef into inch thick cubes and crush your garlic cloves. Place the garlic, 3 cups of wine, beef, and herbs in a bowl and let marinate for 3 hours or overnight
    1. I ALWAYS SKIP THIS STEP. I just don’t find the need to let the wine permeate the meat that much before cooking tbh. I sometimes do it for 30 minutes, or not at all, and arrive at the same end point. So there.
  2. Preheat your oven to 315° and if you have chosen to marinate, drain your meat, dry the chunks with paper towels, and reserve the juice and herbs. If you have decided not to marinate your meat you can skip this step.
  3. Heat a pan over high heat. Chop your onion and carrot and throw in the herbs and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the veggies from the pan and reserve.
  4. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and add the meat (don’t crowd!) and cook until well browned on each side (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and put the meat into an ovenproof dutch oven, along with the veggies.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and meat in the dutch oven, put over medium heat, and stir until the meat is coated. Then pour in 3 cups of wine or “marinade”. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover it, and put it in the over for 2 hours.
  6. Heat the other tbsp of butter in your frying pan and add the bacon and shallots (yes we are cooking bacon in butter, deal with it). Remove from heat when the bacon is crisp, add this and your button mushrooms to the dutch oven after the 2 hours is up. Stir. Add the last ½ cup of wine, cover the dutch oven, and return it to your oven for another 30 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice, potatoes, or eat it on its own! It is the perfect winter stew, hearty, warm, sure to give you the itis.

 

My Christmas gift to you all! Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, continue to be good and eat happily in the New Year piggies!