Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
- 2 lbs stew meat OR 2 large lamb shanks
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 whole cloves crushed
- ½ tsp cinnamon & fresh ground pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg & allspice
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ large sweet onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 5-6 baby carrots
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 14 ½ oz can of diced tomatoes
- 2 c. dry red wine
- ½ pkg whole frozen pearl onions
- 10-20 pitted kalamata olives
In a food processor – purée the sweet onion, carrots, celery and garlic to a paste-like consistency.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Salt the meat well using the tsp of salt. In a large dutch oven heat 2 Tbsp of the oil and brown the meat thoroughly – do not skimp on this – the browning is essential to the flavor. Remove the meat from the pan, dump out the oil and add 2 Tbsp fresh oil to the pan. Add the puréed vegetables to the pan and cook until the vegetables purée starts to brown – do not let it burn – stir it frequently to ensure it does not burn. When it is golden in color add the spices (cloves – allspice) and cook a few minutes more. Then add tomato paste and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes, red wine, frozen onions and olives to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Add the meat back into the pan. The liquid should come just to the top of the meat or cover it slightly – if it does not – add water to bring the level of liquid up.
Cover the dutch oven and put it in the oven. For shanks – you will need to cook it about 3 – 3 ½ hours. Stew meat should go at least 2 hours to be tender. Check every 45 minutes during the cooking process and add more liquid if the sauce starts to get too thick or brown. If making shanks – turn the shanks over half way through the cooking process to ensure even cooking as the level of the liquid reduces. Be careful not to add too much water near the end of the cooking process, in the end you want a thick luscious sauce.
Either stew or shanks can be made up to a day in advance and warmed up – this stew is even better if it gets to sit for a half a day or overnight.
I like to serve this with a nice crusty bread to mop up the sauce!
Sorry no pictures - I was so anxious to dig in I forgot to take any :)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I am getting closer but still not done. The hen house structure is done - it just needs a nest box and a roost and then its ready.
Once everything is in - the wire goes on the top and then the roof and a little wire on the the bottom of the front and it is DONE! I can't finish it this week but I am shooting for Sunday to be done.
I also got a little break to get into the garden and as forlorn as it looks right now there were still a few goodies to be found - a few eggplants, some yellow tomatoes and a handful of green beans - added to two lovely green eggs from Saturday and it made a lovely combination of colors in my kitchen :)I also managed to cook up a few more Asian pork buns this weekend with the left over smoked pork shoulder that I froze a few weeks ago. They are just as yummy this time as last - I can't wait to try a Southwest version with some of the roasted Hatch chilies I froze.
Lately I have had too much work and not enough time in my yard and kitchen! I have so many things I want to do and not enough time to get it all done. I have broccoli, Brussel sprouts and Bok Choy growing in the corner of my living room and I need to get them outside but I need the coop done first. Goal for this weekend - coop done, veggies in the ground where they belong for the fall! Wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tonight - using the left overs I made some Asian Pork Buns. They turned out really well. I chopped up some of the left over shoulder, cooked down the pan drippings from the smoking process, added a little soy sauce and used that for the filling. I thought about using regular barbecue sauce and making them like pulled pork inside - but the smoke flavor was so good I hated to cover it up with barbecue sauce. The dough is a fairly simple to make -
- 10 Tbsp milk
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 large egg beaten (for dough)
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
Warm milk and butter together in a microwave safe bowl just until butter melts. In a medium sized bowl, put the 2 Tbsp water and the yeast and allow the yeast to soften. Whisk the egg in a bowl and add the warm milk and butter to the egg. Add the mixture to the yeast. In a sifter combine flour, sugar and salt and sift into the liquid mixture.
Stir until the dough comes together, then turn out on a lightly floured board and knead. You may need to sprinkle with a light dusting of flour to keep it from sticking - but use as little flour as possible. knead about 5 minutes and then put dough in a oiled bowl (turn to coat the dough lightly with oil), cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour in a warm place.
When the dough has risen and the filling is ready punch it down and divide it in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch log and cut each into 4-6 even pieces. roll the pieces into balls and press them flat and spread them out to about 4 inches across. The dough should be thicker in the middle than around the edges. Place 2-3 Tbsp of the filling in the center and pull the edges up together over the dough into a purse shape and pinch all of the seams together. Put filled bun seam side down on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Continue until all the buns are done. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of rising preheat the oven to 350. Before putting the buns in the oven - brush the tops with egg wash. Baking time depends a little on the size of the buns you make - generally 15-20 minutes is all it takes for the buns to become deep golden brown on top and sound slightly hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.
I have had similar buns with a sweet red bean filling - I am hoping to find a good recipe for those and try them next. The great thing about the little buns is that you can freeze them for up to a month or refrigerate them for a week - simply rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes and they are ready to pop in a lunch box - no mess and nothing can fall out of the nice neat little package. I am going to experiment with some other fillings too - maybe Teriyaki chicken or ground pork with cabbage and ginger (like pot sticker filling) - I think you could even make lovely ones with grilled veggies inside.