Beef and Carrots in Stout: This plus cold night equals perfect

Today, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.  The perfection of this dish speaks for itself.  A couple of quick notes, instead of horseradish, I used 2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part brown mustard.  Also, to clean leeks for those who may not know: slice, unconnect the rings, and soak in water to remove any sand.

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Beef and Carrots in Stout: with parsley and horseradish dumplings (from “The Best of Food and Wine)

  • 3 Tbs cooking oil
  • 2 lbs braising beef in chunks
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 2 oz pearl barley
  • one bottle stout beer
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 large Tbs horseradish
  1. Preheat the oven to 325
  2. In a large dutch oven, brown the meat in batches over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil and set aside.  Add the remaining oil and fry the vegetables until the begin to brown then add the barley.
  3. Add the stout to deglaze the pan.  Pour in about 3 cups of water and return the meat to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil
  4. Remove from the stove, cover and put in the oven for about 2 hours.  Add more water if the dish starts to dry out too much
  5. Saute the onion in the butter.  In a large bowl, mix the onions, parsley, bread crumbs, egg, and horseradish.  It will make a very loose, sticky mixture.
  6. After two hours is up return the stew to the stove top.  Form the mixture into golf ball sized dumplings and dot on top of the stew.  Cover and cook 20 minutes, uncover and cook another 10.
  7. serve and enjoy with another nice dark beer.

Pasta Fagioli: A hot soup for a cold winter night

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So I must apologize for not posting over the weekend and yesterday.  With the holidays upon us the frenzy of shopping and then ultimately gift wrapping has taken up much of my time.  Also, we have had some crazy weather these last few days as well, there was about half an inch of snow on the ground this morning and caused a little road havoc from what I understand.  But now that those tasks are done, I am back to being focused on this and look forward to the next few posts that I have in store.

The post for today is really perfect to be writing with dark clouds in the sky and water/ melting snow all around.  This is a soup that will warm you from the inside.  It has a nice spice and a great Italian flavor.  When the weather outside is frightful and you live in a home with no fireplace, sometimes the soup is what needs to be delightful.

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The cut ups in this recipe are minimal.  My wife found it online somewhere, likely from another food blog.  The one major change that I made was to use chicken sausage as opposed to pork.  It is a little healthier and when dropped in a soup and lean meat can often be really nice.  Also, if you are someone who thinks that adding pepper flakes to a dish is a bad idea you need to resist leaving it out in this case.  This soup is supposed to have a little zip and it really rounds out the dish well.  Also, if you shop at a basic grocery store like I do, you may find it difficult to find 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes, they often only come in the 28 oz variety.  I remedied the situation by using a can of diced tomatoes and running them through the small food processor I have.  It serves the purpose and you don’t have an excess of crushed tomatoes lying around needing to be used.

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Pasta Fagioli

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until it just begins to soften.  Add the carrots and celery and cook until everything is tender.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the sausage and crumble as it cooks.  Cook until well browned.  Add the pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and cook until you can smell both, about thirty seconds.  Add the tomatoes and stock
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans and pasta.  Simmer for about 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  5. SERVE AND ENJOY

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