Osso Bucco

I have had these 3 beef shanks sitting in my freezer for like 6 months and I kept on putting off making osso bucco because I Had fresh meat to use. Well now it’s spring and I was putting it off because, well it’s spring, and osso bucco is kind of a cold weather dish. But I ran out of food and decided to make it anyways. I still think it’s best served on a winter day, but using only white wine and adding the gremolata really lightened up the dish. SO without further ado, here is my take on osso bucco.

Osso Bucco (makes 3 servings – easily scales for appropriate number of servings)

Ingredients for the stew

  • 3 beef shanks cut 1 inch thick

     You must taste the ingredients for good measure ;)


    You must taste the ingredients for good measure 😉

  • 2-3 carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1/4 c. fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 c. white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter

Ingredients for the Gremolata

  • 1/2 c flat leaf parsley
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small squeeze of lemon juice

Directions for the stew

  1. Get a large dutch oven ready to be used and start chopping all your veggies up into a small dice. Roughly chop the parsley and mince the garlic and keep the separate from the rest of the veggies.

    Chop chop!

    Chop chop!

  2. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in the dutch oven over medium-high heat, while that is heating season your beef shanks with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  3. Brown the beef shanks on both sides (about 1 minute per side) in batches, if necessary. Do not crowd the pan.

    See that carmelization? That's the good stuff!

    See that carmelization? That’s the good stuff!

  4. Remove the beef shanks and add the reaming butter. Dump the chopped onions, green onions, carrots and celery into the pan and saute until the onions are translucent, or about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and parsley to the pan and saute for an additional minute until fragrant.
  5. Add the remaining herbs to the pan, pour in the white wine. Bring the wine to simmer and scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. That’s pure flavour!

    The white wine deglazes the pan and helps meld the flavours

    The white wine deglazes the pan and helps meld the flavours

  6. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes including the liquid and “nestle” the beef shanks back into the mixture making sure they are covered with liquid. Add some water if needed.
  7. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Put the lid on the pot and let simmer for 1.5 hours. Check the pot every 30 mins to make sure there is enough liquid and it is not boiling too rapidly or to cold. Too rapid a boil and the meat will be tough, too cool a pot and the cooking time will be off or it won’t cook.

Directions for Gremolata

  1. While the stew is cooking, zest the lemon, chop the parsley and mince the garlic.
  2. Combine these ingredients in a small bowl and add a squeeze of lemon for added kick.

You can serve the meat and stew separate as I did, or preferable you have shallow wide bowls in which you can serve the stew and shank together. Make sure you top this with the gremolata which really impacts the flavour. And enjoy 🙂

Sadly I don't have bowls big enough to hold that piece of meat

Sadly I don’t have bowls big enough to hold that piece of meat

Jamaican Goat Curry

I bought some goat when I was last up in Ottawa mostly because I have never in my life had it and thought it would be interesting. But then came the inevitable *wait… what they heck do I cook with this* thought. Needles to say, Google came to my rescue and since what I had was stewing pieces of goat, I really only had 2 options. (1) Stew – which I do all too frequently and (2) curry – but not just any curries, there were an abundance of recipes specifically for Jamaican curries. So I looked up a bunch or them, bought some curry powder and did what I always do with recipes… that is. looked up about 10 different ones, looked for the common element and then make up the rest.

No wonder my boyfriend doesn’t understand my cooking method. I almost never follow a recipe unless it’s baking… and even then. So just so you know… 99% of my recipes have at least 2 ingredients who’s measurements have been approximated because I cook to taste. I’m sorry!

Anyways…. This was what I did.

My Jamaican Goat Curry

Ingredients:

Curry

  • 2 lbs stewing goat meat (or shoulder meat cut into 1 inch cubes)

    Ingredients for the marinade

    Ingredients for the marinade

  • 4 carrots
  • 3-4 medium parsnips (or 2 huge ones which is what I had)
  • 1 large onion
  • butter with which to cook
  • 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-3 cups of water or beef broth
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinade

  • 2 1/2 tbsp curry powder

    The marinade per-goat

    The marinade per-goat

  • 1/2 tbsp allspice
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger powder (I had no fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper paste (I buy a tube from the grocery store. but it’s about 1 small chili pepper)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water (or enough that when combines it becomes a paste)

Directions:

  1.  Combine the first 5 ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk together to evenly combine. Add the chili paste and olive oil and mix well with a whisk. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time until you reach a paste consistency that will spread and coat the meat (thinner is a little easier, but don’t make it too thin or it wont stick).
  2. Remove goat from the fridge and pat dry with paper towel (so marinade will stick), then toss these in the bowl with the marinade and make sure the marinade coats each piece. I used my hands for this but be forewarned that they turned slightly yellow from the curry.

    Setting nicely wile I chop

    Setting nicely wile I chop

  3. Cover this and let sit for 1-2 hours so the meat can come to room temperature. If you are leaving it to marinade longer just put it in the fridge and remove an hour before cooking.
  4. While the meat is marinating, dice your onion and chop the carrots and parsnips into bit size pieces. I leave the skin on my root veggies and just wash them well because it’s less work and I find they hold up better, but feel free to peel them.
  5. Coat the bottom of a dutch over pan (or a heavy bottomed soup pan) with some of the butter and brown the meat on medium high heat in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the meat in one layer so each piece gets brown properly and remove it to a bowl. It took me 3 batches to do 2 lbs. Make sure you add a little butter after each batch so the pan doesn’t go dry.

    DSC_0401

    No crowding

  6. Add some more butter to the pan and sautee the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes or until they start to brown.
  7. Add the meat back to the pot and toss everything around. Then add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it and get all the caramelized yummy bits off the bottom.
  8. At this point at the rest of the ingredients except the water and salt and pepper and stir everything around. Then fill the pot with enough water to cover the contents and add salt and pepper to your taste. You can also add more chili pepper or a scotch bonnet pepper for more heat and authenticity, but I’m a wuss and like it mild.

    All in the pot

    All in the pot

  9. Bring this all to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let this cook for 2 hours. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens to your liking. Mine took about 45 minutes.
  10. Serve alone or with some rice (cooked with tumeric to get this lovely colour).
The finished product

The finished product

What I Ate Wednesday

So I know you are supposed to take pictures of the food you ate on Tuesday and post it on Wednesday, but I totally forgot and then saw a whack load of WIAW posts and was all… OOOOooooOOOOoooo I can still do this. So this is a WIAW of what I actually ate on Wednesday 🙂

Breakfast

!/2 Avo, 3 thin slices (about 150 grams) of Peameal bacon, 1 pan roasted tomato and fried in a smidge of butter

1/2 Avo, 3 thin slices (about 150 grams) of Peameal bacon, 1 pan roasted tomato and fried in a smidge of butter

Morning “Snack” which I definitely forgot to pack and thus was stuck drinking lots o’ water and my yummy coffee – don’t do this!

Coffee with 1 pkg splenda and about a tbsp of coconut cream (the stuff at the top of the can)

Coffee with 1 pkg splenda and about a tbsp of coconut cream (the stuff at the top of the can)

Lunch

This was to show that there is in fact fish buried beneath those veggies. Red snappedr (wild caught) in fact

This was to show that there is in fact fish buried beneath those veggies. Red snapper (wild caught) in fact

Stirfried veggies: zucchini, onion, red pepper, baby bok choy and some garlic

Stirfried veggies: zucchini, onion, red pepper, baby bok choy and some garlic

Afternoon Snack

My favourite protein powder: BioX Power Whey in Rocky Road and 2 baby cukes

My favourite protein powder: BioX Power Whey in Rocky Road and 2 baby cukes

Pre workout stuff

I love this brand, they taste delicious. That's Revolution Nutrition's BCAAs and L-Carnitine

I love this brand, they taste delicious. That’s Revolution Nutrition’s BCAAs and L-Carnitine

Dinner – I took pictures of the cooking to show that I almost NEVER cook just one portion of things. I don’t do a massive food prep like lots of people do on Sundays, instead I just double, triple or quadruple whatever I am having for dinner.

Grainy mustard for the chicken. I got this at the St. Lawrence and LOVE it

Grainy mustard for the chicken. I got this at the St. Lawrence and LOVE it

The finished product, just 1/3rd of what I cooked

The finished product, just 1/3rd of what I cooked

Lots of baby bok choy, one of my favourite veggies

Lots of baby bok choy, one of my favourite veggies

3 very large chicken breasts (they were about 200 grams eeach!)

3 very large chicken breasts (they were about 200 grams each!)

Sauteeing some garlic, onions and mushrooms

Sauteeing some garlic, onions and mushrooms

So because I forgot my snack I actually under ate despite the gigantic chicken breast for dinner. I may make some protein sludge a la Muffin Topless before bed to make up some of the calories. If you are hungry on a diet, you’re doing it wrong!

So totals for the day:

Calories – 1160 (way under my allotted 1500 – 1700 – not good) Protein – 135 grams (spot on) Fat – 53 grams (good) Carbs – 33 grams (Holy crap! What?)

Oh and I also did a 20 minute run, which was supposed to be 30 minutes but I was super drained (possibly from the complete lack of carbs and the missed morning snack) and stepped off at 22 minutes. Followed by a KILLER leg workout where I set a new PR of 185 pound squat 6RM! You should have seen the smile on my face! However I tried to follow that up with deadlifts which seems mysteriously difficult after that… hmmmm.

Leftover herbs and a quick meal

Why do they always sell herbs in ridiculous quantities? Does anyone ever use that much dill or rosemary? What recipe calls for that? Grrrrr

Last week I bought a bunch of herbs including rosemary, chives, and parsley. The rosemary and chives were actually somewhat reasonable portions though they will most certainly go bad before I use them up, but it was the parsley that confounded me. It was a HUGE portion. Most recipes call for about 1-2 tbsp of chopped parsley. And I probably have a bunch the size of a head of lettuce. Ridiculous!

So I was trying to think of what to do with all this parsley when I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to use even a small portion of it in recipes… so I decided to make it a side dish in its own right!

Parsley

Yesterday I pulled off the leaves of parsley, dumped about a cups worth on the side of my plate for breakfast and squirted some lemon juice over. Apparently vitamin C like that in lemon juice helps make plant-based iron more absorbable, so why not?

It was good, no wait, it was great!

I actually liked it so much that I did the same thing for this morning’s breakfast… see?

I ended up making forkfuls of parsley and duck egg with all the nice runny yolk. So good! So if you have random left over parsley, you now know you can just eat it on its own… you’re welcome!

I also made a cleaned up version of a twice baked potato.

Twice baked sweet potato (for 1 serving)

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 slices of peameal or about 150 grams
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped coarse
  • ¼ cup melting cheese, grated (I used low fat mozzarella because it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • Cooking fat for the pan

Directions

  1. Cook your sweet potato either in the microwave or oven until doneTwice baked
  2. Set your oven to broil
  3. Fry the peameal bacon and sauté the onions until soft
  4. Cut the now done sweet potato in half and scoop out the flesh
  5. Once the peameal is done, dice it into small pieces (like regular bacon would be in a twice baked potato
  6. Mash the flesh of the potato and combine it with the chives, onion and peameal then scoop it back into the skins of the sweet potato
  7. Top the restuffed potatoes with a little cheese each and set them under the broiler for a minute or two.
  8. Devour.

This all comes together in about 15 minutes (if you use a microwave) so it’s a great meal for a weeknight or in my case, post-workout when I am famished and desperately need food NOW.

 

What I Ate Wednesday – jumping on the bandwagon

Well, I’ve been seeing What I Ate Wednesday floating around the blogosphere for AGES now and thought… why not?

Please excuse the fact that most of the photos are terrible!

The cottage cheese/yogurt bowl pre-mixing

Breakfast – mixture of organic pressed cottage cheese, organic yogurt with a little stevia, vanilla and blueberries galore! I have gone to using the pressed cottage cheese and mixing it with yogurt instead of the liquidy one because it has a bunch of ingredients that I think are unnecessary (like carageenan) whereas both the yogurt and the pressed cottage cheese have 2 ingredients… milk and bacteria! Also, I always buy plain and add my own sweeteners and flavours. I prefer the control this gives me and the choice of ingredients.

Post- mixing – looks much less appetizing, but still yummy

Morning Snack – just a coffee (Grande skinny latte) from starbucks. Has anyone else noticed that there new menus say the grande has 120 calories when it used to have 130? where did the other 10 calories go?

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Lunch – yummy leftovers of the “Pasta” Carbonara from yesterday

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Afternoon Snack – 3 carrots (I ate 2 before I remembered to take a picture!) and a protein shake

WIAW2

There were 3 carrots – I got carried away!

Dinner – More leftovers! I was the leftover queen yesterday apparently. This was from Saturday’s dinner party. Roast beef, roasted parsnips, carrots and onions, and I steams some brussel sprouts for the side.

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Evening snack – I was craving something sweet so I had 2 squares of lindt 90% dark chocolate with some tea. 🙂

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All this worked out to ABOUT 1600 calories with a whopping 165 grams of protein, 125 carbs  and 52 grams of fat (good ones mostly) which is exactly where I want to be for weight loss.