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 ūüėČ

  • 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 ūüôā

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

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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

Day 1 – 21 Day Sugar Detox

It’s day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox and so far so good. I have had a couple spoons¬†of almond butter and chunks of cheese to snack on instead of fruit or some granola and I have a pot of beef and leek stew simmering away on the stove.

I have been looking at some different recipes on Pinterest since I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping this weekend because I was at the wine and food show (which was awesome) and then sunday my Mom made a wonderful dinner for my boyfriend’s birthday. Unfortunately both those things resulted in me curled up on the couch with intense stomach pains and digestive distress because I thought I could eat gluten and get away with it. Well my body decided that there was zero chance that it would let me enjoy a gelato cookie sandwich or the apple crisp my mom made without serious repercussions. Today thankfully I seem to be doing ok.

In case you are wondering what a person would eat on day 1 of a 21 day sugar detox… here is my food for the day:

Breakfast: a 2 egg omelette with full fat cheese and tomatoes

Snack 1: 1/2 c. full fat, natural yogurt, 1 chopped up green apple, 2 tbsp. hemp hearts and cinnamon

Lunch: spaghetti squash with ground turkey and tomato sauce

Snack 2: 2 hard boiled eggs and a half a red pepper cut up into slices

Snack 3: random spoonfuls of almond butter and a few slices of full fat mozzarella

Dinner: Beef and Leek stew with a marrow bone stuck in it ūüôā

And here is the recipe for this fabulousness that literally caused me to hum while spooning beefy goodness into my mouth! 

All the ingredient before the liquid

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs of stewing beef (I used 1 only because I had only thawed 1 pound but 2 pounds would be better)
  • 2 tbsp butter or other cooking fat
  • 1 leek
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/4 c. of red wine vinegar
  • 4-5 cups of beef broth (I used 3 cups of homemade chicken broth for the nutritional content and 2 cups of beef broth from the store for the taste)
  • Spices to taste as follows: paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the cooking fat on medium-high and brown all the meat in batches without crowding the pan.
  2. While the meat is browning, chop the leek into medallions and wash it thoroughly, chop the celery and onions into similar sized pieces.
  3. Remove the meat from the pan and toss in all the vegetables. Add in a little more fat if needed and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add back the meat and any drippings that have accumulated in bowl along with all the spices in whatever amounts seem good to you (I am sorry I have no idea how much of each I put in) then add the red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan and get up any delicious caramelization going on at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Let the vinegar fully evaporate and then add the broth and bring to a rolling boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for about an hour and a half.

If you want to you can also cook some marrow bones in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes and stick that in the bowl too… yum!

Stew and marrow…OMG

I’m so pleased with how this turned out and you should all make this RIGHT NOW!!! Day one is coming to an end and I’m pleased as punch!

Drunken Pirate Stew

Alrighty, yesterday I told you about this awesome stew I made and promised a recipe to accompany it (as well as going off on a bit of a rant). So here you are:

Drunken Pirate Stew¬†– Paleo and¬†gluten-free but not low-carb, sorry I can’t make carrots and potatoes magically low carb

The ingredients

Ingredients (yes that is Bacardi Oakheart rum you see):

*makes 4 large servings

– 1-2 lbs stewing beef (depending on how much beef to veggie ratio you want, I used 1 lb)

– 1 large onion

–¬†2 c. chopped¬†carrots

–¬†1 c. chopped mushrooms

–¬†1 28 oz. can tomatoes, no salt (diced or whole work well)

– 1 med sweet potato chopped

–¬†2 cloves garlic

–¬†1-2 tbsp butter (for browning and sauteeing)

– 1 oz. spiced rum (I used a 1/4 c. but it was a bit too much for my taste, use your discretion)

– Spices to taste such as – cinnamon (to enhance the rum), thyme, marjoram, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper

Other things I would have added if I had them in the house РCelery, pearl onions, potatoes (particularly red new potatoes), beef broth, red wine.

*** I’m hoping you are getting the idea that this is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of recipe and really its just the method that matters. There are certain things you can do that make a stew awesome.

Directions:

1. Grab a big pot with a lid or a dutch oven if you own one and heat to medium-high heat adding enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan once it is heated.

2. Brown the meat (in batches if there is not enough room in the pot) by placing the cubed beef in one layer without crowding them in the pan, leave it until the meat starts to come off the pan a little at the sides and dow this on all sides. This is the only annoying part about stew, but it makes the meat much more tender and adds more flavour IMHO.

All the veggies

3. Remove your browned meat from the pan and put aside, add some more butter and some garlic (I crush mine in a garlic pres so you don’t¬†get random pieces) and cook until fragrant (30 – 60 seconds)¬†and sautee you onions (and celery if you are using that) until slightly translucent.

4. Add the rest of the veggies to the pot, which in my case were, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots and add back the meat with any drippings that have accumulated in the bowl and stir to mix everything together, maybe add some more butter if you thing it needs it ūüėČ

5. Add the rum to the pot and with a wooden spoon, scrap the bottom to get up all the delicious meat drippings and buttery goodies that have stuck to the bottom of the pot… this is called deglazing¬†and also works well with wine or vinegar.

6. Add the can of tomatoes and stir, then add enough water (or beef broth if you have it) to the pot to cover the contents in liquid, then add any spices you want (add them now so they can permeate all the veggies and meat with their awesome flavour).

7. Stir and cover the mixture until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat to low (enough to maintain a low simmer) and let it “stew” for about an hour stirring occasionally

Yum – second helpings were had

8. After an hour you might want to take the lid off and let the mixture reduce a little to thicken it up, or let it keep cooking covered until the desired thickness. More cooking time will only really affect how mushy the veggies are, but it will make the beef even more tender.

FYI this (and all stews) tastes even better the next day because the flavours have had even longer to blend. I know this because I just consumed a huge bowl of leftovers. Yum. You can also make a bigger batch and freeze half because stew keeps really well. Just heat it back up in a sauce pan (or microwave, but things taste better from the stove) and you have a super quick, ready-to-go meal.

Nutritional info per 1/4 of recipe (for the veggies I included, 1 lb of grass-fed stewing beef and a 1/4 c. of rum): Cals Р422    Carbs Р25 g   Fat Р22 g   Protein Р26 g

This is obviously a higher calorie, fat and carb meal than I usually make, but it’s extremely healthy and great at the end of a fall day when you are feeling cold and you have just been on the stairmaster for an hour and think you deserve some carbs *ahem*.