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Category Archives: Stews

Lazy Day Pot Roast Recipe

A bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

Image via Wikipedia

On Sundays, I usually make ‘mega-meals’ which means a meal that is bigger than for the two of us. It’s a meal to split three ways – for us, for his parents and for my parents. Both our parents are aging and while they get “Meals On Wheels” – it gives me great pleasure to give them a homemade meal each week.

I’m am sharing with you the most incredible, flexible pot roast recipe EVER! Seriously, this recipe gives you the guidelines and basics…all you do is fill in the blanks with different, spices, fluids and herbs. I have had so much fun playing with this recipe. When I’m in the creative, exotic mood – I play with Chinese Five Spice and cinnamon in the flour mixture to get exotic depth of flavors.

This time I took the lazy way out for I didn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen…would rather spend it with my hubby. Today’s pot roast interpretation is the “Lazy Day” version.

I found the recipe on Epicurious.com and it is dated from 1963. Time tested for sure. Over the years, I have had fun playing with all the options.

I start with a basic flour dredge of 1/4 cup flour, 2 tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning and a good hefty shake of Lawry’s seasoned salt.

I had a 3 1/2 lb. chuck roast from a special at a local grocer. It was a bit fatty so I carved off all visible signs of the nasty stuff.

Before diving in and braising the beef, I prepared all the veggies that were going to go in to the pot. This time I used onions, garlic (lots of it!) and carrots. The recipe is so flexible that you can add your favorite veggies – I’ve used turnips, fennel and mushrooms in the past.

Speaking of carrots, I don’t skimp on fresh veggies – lazy day or not. I always buy a bunch of carrots with tops attached…fresh and full of flavor…and oh so pretty!

Next step is to line up your herbs and spices. Again, this recipe gives you lots of room for creativity! Today, I’m going the rosemary (2 sprigs), Worcestershire sauce (1 TBS)  and bay leaf (2) route. There are so many variations of spices to play with…I like to go into the reviews of the recipe and see what other cooks have come up with.

A moment of digression here, I have the pleasure of having a delightful little spice shop near my house and I have sworn never to buy grocery store spices again!

Fresher!

Cheaper!

I love my visits to Heather’s and my chats with the owner over recipes…(another blog post for sure!)

Back to the recipe.

Veggies cut. Spices, herbs and seasonings lined up.

Time to braise the meat.

High temperatures. Frying pan. Canola oil.

Brown the meat on both sides until you get a nice crust on the meat.

Remove the meat from the frying pan, drain the excess oil and immediately throw in the veggies.

I add some fresh ground pepper, turn the heat down a bit and stir the veggies so they collect what’s left of the drippings from the beef in the pan. After a few minutes, I toss in a cup of red wine!

Stir the veggies and wine to collect all the flavors and toss it all over the braised meat in a dutch oven or roaster.

This is a LOW and SLOW recipe – better cooked at a low temperature of 300 degrees for 3 1/2 to 5 hours. Check the meat and when it falls apart with a fork, it’s done.

While it’s cooking, enjoy the smells that will permeate your kitchen…and enjoy your lazy day!

Source: http://akitchenmuse.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/lazy-day-pot-roast/

 

 
 

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Irish Lamb Stew and Soda Bread Recipe

The closest thing I have to having Irish in me is a tattoo on my left arm that is Celtic in origin but art nouveau in appearance. Yes, it’s an armband and yes I got in the early 90’s, who didn’t? I think the year was 1991 and the place was Seattle. My friend Non and I took the Green Tortoise, i.e. hippie bus, from Berkeley to Seattle and then a Greyhound from Seattle to Vancouver. We were 20 and adventurous.

We stayed in a couple of hostels (I think) and wandered aimlessly. One of the few things I recall is that we lived off of fast food fish and chips from some joint that was swarming with hungry seagulls and getting got lost in downtown Seattle. While trying to figure out where to go next on our map a little old lady walked up this pair of greasy haired, pierced, tattooed girls with army issue backpacks and offered her assistance. I’ll never forget how nice she was. That was my first real impression of Seattle.

I don’t know if I was set to get a tattoo in Seattle or not, but once we got there the urge was overwhelming and it HAD to be Celtic. Did you notice what year this was? But as we know, I don’t necessarily like to follow trends, so it also had to be unique. Non and I spent hours in the bookstore and then hours in the library looking for the perfect design. What I found is something I have yet to see in any other book. The design comes from an artifact. A Celtic carving found on a scabbard discovered I wish I knew exactly where and when. Non and I purchased the thousand page book, took it the tattoo artist, whose name was Hubba Hubba by the way, and then, of course, promptly returned the book.

Hubba Hubba was a, not surprisingly, chubby little man. He sweated profusely as he was tattooing my arm and charged me only fifty bucks. He said, “because your hot”. Uh, ok?

That tattoo is set a little lower on my left arm than your typical armband and is not as ornate as the original photograph (it would have bled into a big blob) and it is, by far, the tattoo I get the most compliments on. Especially from women, for some reason.

All I really remember about the Canada part of our trip are two things. Sitting in the queue on the Greyhound bus waiting to get into Canada and watching a man and a woman run for their dear lives from (or was it to?) the border, and being held at the border when returning to the States. I had a passport (and had no problems), but Non didn’t. We are both brown and I guess they thought she was trying to deport from Canada. Does that even happen?

In honor of the Irish in (or on) all of us I made Irish Lamb Stew and Irish Soda Bread for St. Patty’s Day, with a tiny bit of a Mediterranean twist.

Cheers!

Irish Lamb Stew

Adapted from Epicurious

I went a little heavy on the spices and condiments, but, as you’ll see from the measurements, I’ve given you the option of going a little lighter.

This was, by far, the best stew I’ve ever made.

What you’ll need~

A handful or two of flour to coat your lamb

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

1-1/2 – 2 lbs lamb from a leg cut into 1-inch pieces

3-4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled

4 cups beef stock

1/2 cup Guinness

1/2 cup red wine

2-4 tablespoons tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons dried sage

1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2-4 bay leaves

3-4 tablespoons Irish butter

6-7 cups russet potatoes, sliced and halved

1 shallot thinly sliced

1 large onion sliced and halved

2 cups carrots cut or chopped into chunks

Fresh parsley

Pat each chunk of lamb dry with a paper towel and then dredge through flour. Heat the olive oil in your largest pot over medium heat. Add lamb and shallots and sauté until brown on all sides. About 5 minutes. Stir in stock, beer, wine, tomato paste, dried sage, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook for an hour stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, melt butter in your next largest pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and carrots. Sauté until veggies are softened and golden. About 20 minutes.
Add vegetables to stew and simmer uncovered for another 40 minutes. You want your lamb to melt like butter on your tongue.

Sprinkle with a handful of parsley and serve hot.

Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from Epicurious

This bread also turned out amazingly well. I used chopped dried figs instead of the traditional currants. Feel free to use whatever dried fruit that turns you on.

What you’ll need~

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2-cup raw honey

1-tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup or so Irish butter, cut into cubes

1 cup dried figs, chopped

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a large loaf pan or two smaller loaf pans. You can also grease a baking sheet and form the dough into a boule.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter. Use your fingers to break the butter apart in the flour (one of my favorite things ever). Rub until the flour become coarse and crumby. Stir in dried fig pieces.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk and eggs. Briefly warm your honey on the stove or in the microwave until it is just softened. Whisk honey into buttermilk and eggs.

Stir wet mix into flour mixture until well blended.

Pour dough into bread pan(s) and use a small knife to cut and X or X’s into the top.

Bake bread for about an hour and 15 minutes rotating pan halfway through.

Serve with a generous smear of Irish butter.

 

Source: http://leeksoup.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/to-the-irish-in-on-all-of-us-irish-lamb-stew-and-soda-bread/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Lamb, Meats, Stews

 

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