While the title of this recipe might lead you to believe that only Guinness will do, I have found that just about any hearty stout does the trick and even add a few extra subtle flavor notes. This stew delivers, again and again. Slow Cooked Guiness Beef Stew By Holly Rodricks Feeds 6-8 (Depending on how hungry) Ingredients: 2 lbs. Stew Beef (or venison for all you hunters out there) 2 tbsp. Flour (Optional, but it really helps to sear in the flavor) 1 tbsp. Oil 1 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste 1/2 tsp. Pepper 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper 3-4 tbsp. Bacon Grease 1 can/cup Tomato Sauce or pureed Whole Canned Tomatoes 2 Onions, chopped into large chunks 4-6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups Guinness or other Stout Beer 7 medium Carrots, sliced into thick rounds 5 medium Potatoes, cut into large chunks 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp. dried Thyme or 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 Bay Leaves pinch of All Spice or Ground Cloves Instructions: In a small bowl, mix Flour, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne. Toss Stew Meat in large bowl with Oil. Sprinkle Flour mixture over meat and mix with hands until evenly coated. In a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, melt Bacon Grease and brown Meat on all side, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Add Onions, Garlic, and Tomato Sauce/Puree. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Transfer Meat mixture into dutch oven or crock pot. Return skillet to stove and increase heat to high. Pour approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup Beer into pan and swirl around until caramelized Meat juices lift off from bottom of pan. Pour Beer drippings into pot. Add remaining Beer, Carrots, Potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, Thyme, Bay Leaves, and Allspice/Cloves and mix. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. Serve hot with fresh bread.
This soup is a take on traditional Potato Leek Soup. I use ham stock instead of chicken, because it’s flavor complements the potatoes and cream so nicely. The buttermilk adds a tanginess that makes this soup stand out from other versions in complexity. For a vegetarian version, simply substitute vegetable stock in place of the meat stock. Potato Leek Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 3 Leeks (white and pale green parts only), rinsed, halved, and sliced 3-4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 2 large Potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly 1 quart Ham Stock (Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock may be substituted.) 1 Bay Leaf 1/4 tsp. dried Lemon Thyme (Use regular Thyme, if Lemon is not available) 1/2 tsp. ground White Pepper 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1 cup Buttermilk Salt to taste Instructions: Melt Butter in skillet or large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add Leeks and caramelize, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until soft, sweet, and translucent. (The goal here is to cook over a low enough heat that the Leeks and Butter do not brown/discolor.) While Leeks are caramelizing, bring Stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Add sliced Potatoes, Bay Leaf, Thyme, White Pepper, and Nutmeg. Reduce heat to simmer. Add caramelized Leeks. Allow soup to simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and falling apart when mixed. Remove soup from heat and Salt to taste. Add Cream and Buttermilk. Use immersion blender to mix and liquefy. Serve hot with a fresh crust of buttered bread.
My favorite part about this recipe (other than it’s crispy-creaminess, of course!) is that the stovetop portion can be done ahead of time, saving the final broiling for right before you eat. It’s a perfect compliment to holiday main courses such as roasted turkey or chicken. Also, save that delicious cream that’s left over and drizzle it over roasted potatoes or freshly cooked greens or to fold into mashed potatoes. Creamy Braised Potatoes and Fennel By Holly Rodricks (Inspired by Food52.) Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-2″ chunks 2 Fennel Bulbs, with tough/bruised outer layers removed, trimmed and cut lengthwise into wedges about 1.5” wide, leaving core intact to hold wedges together 2 cups Cream 1 cup Chicken Stock 1 Bay Leaf 4 large sprigs fresh Thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme) 1/2 tsp. dried Orange Zest (or fresh zest of 1 Orange, if available) 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, finely grated 3 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine Cream and Chicken Stock and set aside. In a 4 quart pan, combine Potatoes, Fennel wedges, and Bay Leaf. Season generously with Salt and Pepper. Pour Cream mixture over vegetables until just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until Potatoes and Fennel are tender and cooked through. While vegetables are cooking, toss Thyme, Orange Zest, and Cheese together in small bowl until evenly mixed, and set aside. A few minutes before Potatoes and Fennel are cooked, preheat oven broiler to medium high and generously coat the bottom of a casserole or gratin dish with olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to prepared dish. Some Cream mixture will carry over, which is a good thing! Add more Salt and Pepper to taste, as necessary. Then drizzle Potatoes and Fennel with a little more Olive Oil and add Cheese mixture. Toss all ingredients together until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer in dish and place under broiler, approximately 6 inches away. Brown for 3-5 minutes, until potatoes and fennel are crispy around the edges, or longer as suits your preference. Serve hot! *Image courtesy of: https://food52.com/recipes/14606-crispy-cream-braised-potatoes-and-fennel.
It is a special treat when our CSA members let us know how they’re putting our produce to work by sharing their recipes with us. Below is a submission from one of our members that blends those lingering Summer veggies with the hearty roasted flavors of the start of Autumn. Roasted Chicken with Stewed Vegetables By CSA Member Christopher Muniz Makes 4-6 servings. Roasted Chicken – Ingredients: 2.5 lb. whole Chicken 3 sprigs Thyme 1 Bay Leaf 1 small Onion, quartered 1 clove Garlic, halved Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 450º. Pat skin of Chicken dry. Season cavity of Chicken and skin liberally with Salt and Pepper. Then add Thyme, Bay Leaf, Onion, and Garlic to cavity. Truss Chicken. Place Chicken on roasting rack or on some carrots, celery, etc. to raise it up and get good airflow all around it. Roast Chicken for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn oven down to 325º and roast until internal temperature reaches 160-162º. Once at temperature, remove and let rest on counter for 10-15 minutes.* Carve and enjoy over stewed vegetables! (See recipe below.) *Chicken should have a final internal temperature of 165º. Carry over cooking after bird is removed from oven at 160-162º should bring it up to 165º after resting. Stewed Vegetables – Ingredients: 2 tbsp. Olive Oil 4 cloves of Garlic, minced 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick 1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick 2 medium Tomatoes, diced small 3 small Onions, sliced 1/4″ thick 1 medium Eggplant, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/4″ thick 1 Hot Pepper of choice, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (Optional) 2 tsp. Turmeric 2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes 1 tsp. Cumin 5 sprigs Thyme Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, sweat minced Garlic in Olive Oil. Add all Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, and Eggplant, Season with Turmeric, Red Pepper Flakes, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly wilted, about 7-10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add Thyme. Cover and cook another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If liquid gets low, add a little chicken or vegetable stock, or water. Vegetables should be sitting in juices but not covered. Taste for seasoning and flavor. If all is well, remove from stove and set aside, or leave on very low heat until Chicken is roasted. Plate Chicken with plenty of stewed vegetables and some liquid as sauce!
Savory Chard & Tomato Pie By Emily Burrichter Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: Filling – 1 bunch Chard 6 Eggs 1 cup Milk 1 tsp. Garlic Powder 1 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper 2 medium Tomatoes, sliced 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded Crust – 1 cup Flour 1/4 cup Water 1/4 cup Olive Oil 1 tsp. dried Thyme 1 tsp. Salt Instructions: Preheat oven to 375º. Slice Chard into thin strips, stems included. Sauté with a few tablespoons of water until greens are wilted. Allow to cool while making crust. To make crust, mix all ingredients and press into pie pan. In mixing bowl, whisk Egg, Milk, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper. Spoon cooked Chard into crust, and pour Egg mixture over Chard. Arrange Tomato slices on top of Egg and Chard mixture and sprinkle with shredded Cheddar Cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until middle of pie is set.
Last weekend, I visited Lockwood Lavender Farm during the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival and left with several fresh bouquets to dry at home. I arranged them into bundles, rubber-banded the stems, hooked jumbo paperclips through the rubber bands, and hung them off the utility shelf in my kitchen closet. Who knew you could do so much with a paperclip and a rubber band? Don’t fret! Such fun isn’t only reserved for lavender. Below are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to stretch as much use as possible out of those big, beautiful bunches of herbs that come home with us from the farm. Treat fresh herbs like flowers. No, this is not a joke. You will routinely find vases of herbs around my little home in the summertime, and they make quite a fine substitution. All you need to do is collect the herbs into a little bundle, removing any leaves that would rest beneath the water. Trim the stems, and place your lovely arrangement in a vase. Place in a well-lit area at room temperature, and enjoy the lovely scents. Change the water regularly, continuing to trim the ends as needed and removing any soggy leaves that have crept under the water line. I’ve kept bunches of oregano fresh for cooking this way for three weeks! Wrap herbs in paper towels inside a sealed zip-lock bag, and store in the fridge. This approach is pretty straightforward. As long as the herbs are in a nice, moist, cool environment, they have quite a bit of longevity – up to 2 weeks! If you’re not a fan of herbal bouquets, this might be a better approach for you. Dry herbs for use all year long. It’s amazing how much money we spend on those little bottles of dried herbs when home-preserving is so remarkably easy. If you purchase a bundle of herbs so big that you couldn’t possibly consume it in a few weeks’ time, separate a portion. Rinse the leaves and allow them to air-dry on a clean towel. Collect all the stems into a bunch. For herbs with woodier stems, secure them with a rubber band. For more delicate stems, secure with string or dental floss. Then, hang that little bundle upside down in a dark area, like a closet, that isn’t too humid. (No basements for this kitchen experiment.) Herbs usually take approximately 2 weeks to dry, sometimes longer. You’ll know they’re done when they crumble at the touch. At this point, you can either crumble the leaves off the stems and store them in an airtight jar as is or use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle for smaller, more even pieces.