Beef, vegetables, and spices wrapped in a flaky crust and baked. Not too hard to make and a good use of a mid-range piece of meat. I had about a 2 lb piece of London Broil (keeping with the British theme), some various veggies, and admittedly used a canister of store dough. Continue reading
Tag Archives: rosemary
For St. Patty’s day I made an Irish beer beef stew. Originally I wanted to make stout braised short-ribs, but it turns out short-ribs were a little more pricey than I originally thought. We ended up purchasing a single bottle of Smithwick’s (an Irish red ale) and some beef shanks and enjoyed every bite.
I had a pork loin and some rosemary which is a combo that I fancy and also wanted to grill it while the weather was still so mild. We also had some French breakfast radishes which I had never seen before to my knowing. I kept the pork on the upper shelf of the grill and it seared and charred well while not cooking to quickly and drying out. The radishes were sauteed and cheesed. Sticking with the fall theme, I cooked down an apple cider sauce that was used like a dipping au jus.
You see that gravy on the plate there? I have been calling it liquid gold because it was so, so good. You will be licking your plate clean, I can almost guarantee it. We recently received a Staub and this is another recipe from Molly Steven’s All About Braising using the cocotte. This was definitely a dish of a lot of firsts for me. This was the first time I ever cooked a whole chicken before, made stuffing from scratch (cooked inside the bird), and made such a delicious pan sauce. This may have been the best thing I ever made and it really was not too difficult at all. Like the pot roast it entailed many steps and a good few hours, but nothing was too technical or intimidating to take on. Again, this was a time consuming Sunday cooking event. I tried to time it so we ate before the AFC Championship game, but it took a little longer than expected and we ate at half time. Luckily since the Steelers had taken such a big lead my nerves were calm enough that I was able to eat!
We had an absolute feast with some friends featuring grilled filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and onions, spicy red pepper mac n cheese, rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. The Strip District struck again! I had wanted to get a log of filet for quite some time because the price goes down as you buy a bigger cut, so we called on some friends to help us out.
Ever heard of beer can chicken? Well, this is beer can turkey. I have been slow grilling a lot recently and am trying to make the most of the ending summer 😦 I had never heard of this and wanted to give it a try. Whereas a standard 12 oz can works well for a chicken, I used a Fosters “oil can” which is 25.4 ounces.
First with the grill. This time I started the charcoal and once it was ashed over, pushed it all to the outer edges to make a ring.
While the coals were heating up, I prepared the turkey and the can. I covered the turkey with a store bought rotisserie chicken rub. Leave about half of the beer in the can, with the other half you figure it out. Once it was magically half empty, I removed the top with a can opener. This worked really well and there were no sharp edges. I then added bay leaves, garlic, and rosemary to the beer.
Now the grill, turkey, and can were ready. I placed the can on the grill and lowered the turkey down onto it and pushed it down a bit to make sure that it was stable.
Now for the cooking. I thought that this might be a problem and it was. The turkey was too tall to close the lid all of the way, so I quickly Macgyvered a contraption by using two bricks on the handles for the lid to rest on.
I was concerned about the heat loss from the semi open lid but it was not a factor and the bird cooked much quicker than I thought it would. The whole 12 lb turkey was finished in about 2-2.5 hours.
Towards the end of the turkey, I prepared the mashed potatoes by boiling them and then sauteing the aromatics.
Once they were tender, add the potatoes and milk and whip with an electric mixer.
It turned out to be great dinner!
If you are a fan of Greek food I am pretty sure you will really like this meal. It is relatively easy to prepare and the flavors are intense and extremely satisfying. We made gyro burgers, which were composed of ground beef and lamb as well as some traditional Greek spices. We also prepared homemade tzatziki sauce and a Greek salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion and fete cheese. It all went well together and you could also serve the burgers in a pita or flatbread if you so desired.
I will begin with the tzatziki sauce, which is a traditional sauce served with gyros that is made with yogurt and cucumber and is awesome.
The key ingredient here is mint. Luckily mint grows like weeds and we have plenty growing outside!
I just combined all the ingredients and let it chill in the refrigerator while we prepared the rest of the meal. Below is a pic of the final product. Not only is this a great sauce to put on whatever you please, really, but can also be served as a dip with pita or veggies. It is so good.
Along with the burgers we also prepared a Greek salad. I love this salad, especially in the summer when the vegetables are nice and fresh. It is a great accompaniment to any meat, really, and goes particularly well with the strongly flavored lamb.
Now, on to the burgers! I’ll let the pictures do the talking here….
The meat had a gyro like consistency as you can see below (sorry, it’s a bit blurry) and of course the flavor was right on.
Give this one a try!
In certain circles, dark meat gets a bad reputation. I don’t really get it. Dark meat is much more juicy and flavorful than it’s white meat counterpart. A boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 4 ounces) has about 2.5 grams of fat and 110 calories. A 4 ounce thigh, with the bone and skin removed, has 4 grams of fat and also 110 calories. (Nutritional info courtesy of a great website). So why not live on the wild side and make chicken thighs for dinner? Ok. done. Oh, and chicken thighs are also a LOT cheaper than breasts.
We bought a nice big tray of chicken thighs from Giant. These did have bones and skin on them, both which keep in a lot of flavor and natural juices. We started off by making a braising liquid, using the shallots, jalapenos, lemon and wine (unfortunately we only had red wine, which is why the chicken is purple/red hue).
we seasoned the thighs and sprinkled them with some ground rosemary (I used the bullet for this).
and in they went
just a few minutes on each side and into a baking dish
Now on to the roasted cauliflower. We first discovered roasted cauliflower from our friend Candace and it was love at first bite! We’ve made it several times now and usually marinate it in something different each time.
The marinade this time consisted of oil, hot sauce, lots of seasonings and some mustard.
The cauliflower roasted in the oven along with the chicken.
I like it really roasted, on the border between cooked and almost burned! It’s amazingly flavorful.
For valentine’s day dinner we decided to make something we don’t eat often and make something that would be a special treat for us. We went with surf and turf, lobster and lamb.
We got two beautiful lobster tails from Harris Teeter.
We did not want to alter the natural flavor of the lobster and decided to steam them and serve them with melted butter for dipping. Greg put a little Old Bay on his, but my lobster tail went au naturale. Both were steamed in water that was infused with Old Bay and vinegar.
Talk about simplicity! Simple food, done well. The “surf” was a great way to kick things off.
Now on to the turf portion of the meal. We bought two racks of lamb from Whole Foods, that were conveniently frenched already. We have made lamb before, but never rack of lamb. We’ve learned that when making lamb at home it’s important to spend a little extra money and buy a nice cut. The cheaper cuts are grizzly and much more gamey in flavor, not good things. We tried two different recipes, so each rack had a different preparation, set of ingredients, and taste. Both sets were first seasoned with salt and pepper before going on their unique paths.
For the first rack we decided to tap into some Greek flavors, involving mint, lemon, and rosemary.
Greg combineded these ingredients with some olive oil to create a marinade.
Before actually baking this rack, we heated a glass dish in the oven for about half an hour. The rack was placed in the hot dish to sear it. Greg brushed on the marinade and baked it for about 15 minutes or so.
We made the second rack in a more traditional French way, using dijon mustard and bread crumbs.
We began by searing the rack in a pan with a little hot oil.
Once it was seared, we coated it with dijon mustard.
The next step was to cover the rack with bread crumbs (which had been mixed with oil).
Once it was well coated, it went back into the pan for the final leg of cooking. We covered the tips with tin foil so they did not burn.
It cooked for a few more minutes in the pan and then it was ready.
We tried both versions and they were both SO good. Very different from one another and it’s hard to say which one was better!
The bread crumb version is in the back, the lemon/rosemary/mint variety in the front.
This was a delicious meal and I love when we make two (or more) versions of things to try them out and then we also to get to eat a nice variety within the same meal. I really loved them both!