SHORT RIBS WITH BUCKWHEAT POLENTA

Ingredients

Serves 4
2 lbs (1 kg) boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2-in (5 cm) square pieces, dried well
1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt
¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 ml) grapeseed oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste
1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 ml) red wine
4 cups (1 L) homemade beef stock (or, if you cannot make a beef stock, chicken or vegetable stock can be used)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 tsp (5 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) butter
BUCKWHEAT POLENTA:
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
¾ cup (175 ml) polenta
¼ cup (60 ml) buckwheat flour
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
½ cup (125 ml) fontina cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Season beef with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef in batches until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
  2. In same pot used to brown beef, add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook vegetables until they are soft and onions are translucent. Add tomato paste and flour, stir and cook until tomato paste has caramelized slightly. Add red wine, prepared beef, stock, thyme and parsley. Cover and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 hours, or until beef is tender. Alternatively, if your pot is ovensafe, you can cook it in a 300 F (150 C) oven for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Once beef is cooked, remove it from pot and set aside. Strain cooking liquid and discard vegetables. Return liquid into pot and reduce over medium-high heat until it is sauce consistency and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and butter to sauce. Stir until combined. Return beef to pot and reduce heat to low. Baste beef with sauce, turning beef over so that it is coated with sauce (about 10 minutes). Serve over Buckwheat Polenta.
  5. To make BUCKWHEAT POLENTA: In a medium-sized saucepan, bring stock to a boil with salt and pepper. Slowly pour polenta into water, whisking constantly, until all polenta has been added. Add buckwheat flour the same way.
  6. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until polenta has thickened and is not settling at bottom. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Add butter and cheese and stir until cheese has melted and combined into polenta. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
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BEEF SAMOSA PIE SERVED WITH PINEAPPLE GINGER CHUTNEY

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1-in (2.5 cm) ginger knob, peeled and finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) garam masala
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) curry powder
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 ml) dried red chili flakes
1 lb (500 g) ground lamb or lean ground beef
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
½ tsp (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped cilantro
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (250 ml) frozen peas
butter, to grease pie plate and brush pastry
4 phyllo pastry sheets
PINEAPPLE GINGER CHUTNEY:
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, cut into ½-in (1.25 cm) dice
¼ cup (60 ml) minced ginger
1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped jalapeño peppers
3 tbsp (45 ml) curry powder
1½ cups (375 ml) white vinegar
½ cup (125 ml) fresh orange juice
zest and juice from 1 lime
1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
½ cup (125 ml) golden raisins
1 medium pineapple, cut into ½-in (1.25 cm) dice

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender. Drain well and let cool. Dice into ½-in (1.25 cm) and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, ginger and jalapeño. Cook until onions are soft. Add spices and cook 1 minute. Add the ground lamb or beef and cook until no longer pink. Add to diced potatoes along with the salt, pepper, lemon juice, cilantro, eggs and frozen peas. Stir well to mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  4. Brush the bottom and sides of a deepdish pie plate with melted butter and drape one sheet of phyllo pastry over it. Brush sheet with melted butter, then place another sheet of phyllo on top, leaving excess to hang over the edge. Repeat the process with a total of 4 sheets. You should have enough overhang on all sides to cover the filling once folded in. Spoon the cooled filling into the phyllo-lined pie plate and fold in overhanging edges, then ruffle or lightly crunch the phyllo, then butter top crust.
  5. Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden and filling is set. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  6. To make PINEAPPLE GINGER CHUTNEY: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add red onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and jalapeño, stir for 1 minute.
  7. Add curry powder to a dry saucepan and heat until it just starts to smoke and become fragrant. Add white vinegar, orange juice, lime juice and zest, brown sugar, raisins and pineapple. Mix well.
  8. Add curry mixture to onion mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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BEEF BRISKET WITH CRANBERRY SUCCOTASH

Ingredients

Serves 6
4 lbs (2 kg) beef brisket, trimmed of fat to ¼-in (0.5 cm) thick
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) grapeseed oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (500 ml) unsweetened cranberry juice
1 cup (250 ml) red win
1½ cups (375 ml) beef broth, plus extra
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
CRANBERRY SUCCOTASH:
1 tbsp (15 ml) grapeseed oil
2 cups (500 ml) fresh corn kernels
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened, dried cranberries
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) honey
2 tsp (10 ml) red wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 F (140 C).
  2. Season trimmed brisket generously with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear brisket on all sides until well caramelized. Remove brisket, set aside and lower heat to medium.
  3. Add onions to Dutch oven and sauté until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute before adding cranberry juice, red wine, beef broth, rosemary and thyme. Bring mixture to a simmer before adding brisket back to Dutch oven fat-side down. Make sure brisket is at least three quarters covered by liquid, if not, top with additional beef broth. Cover and transfer to oven until brisket is fork-tender, about 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Once cooked, remove brisket from Dutch oven and set aside to rest. Place Dutch oven back over medium-high heat until sauce has reduced by at least half and has thickened slightly, about 20 to 30 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. When ready to serve, warm sauce over medium heat. Slice brisket into 1-in (2.5 cm) slices against the grain and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Drizzle brisket with warmed sauce, before topping with Cranberry Succotash. Serve extra sauce alongside.
  6. To make CRANBERRY SUCCOTASH: In a large frying pan, warm grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Sauté corn and cranberries until corn is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil, honey, vinegar and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 3 cups (750 ml)
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CARBONNADE

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
2½ lbs (1.25 kg) beef chuck, cut into 2 x ½-in (5 x 0.5 cm) pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup (75 ml) all-purpose flour
6 tbsp (90 ml) butter, divided
5 bacon slices, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium cooking onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 bottle (330 ml) Belgian-style ale, divided
1½ cups (375 ml) beef stock
3 tbsp (45 ml) dark brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar
4 thyme sprigs
3 tarragon sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 handful, chopped flat leaf parsley
crusty baguette, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, season beef with salt and pepper. Add flour and toss to coat. In a large Dutch oven over mediumhigh heat, heat 3 tbsp (45 ml) butter.
  2. Working in batches, add beef, cooking and turning, until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  3. Cook bacon until fat renders, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining butter, garlic and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add half the beer, cook, scraping bottom, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
  4. Return beef to Dutch oven. Add remaining beer, beef stock, sugar, vinegar and herbs except for parsley. Season. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, until beef is fork-tender, about 1½ hours. Stir in parsley and serve with a warm crusty baguette.
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SHEPHERD’S PIE

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
FILLING:
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground beef
1 tsp (5 ml) vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste
1 cup (250 ml) stout beer
1 cup (250 ml) beef or vegetable stock
2 tbsp (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 thyme sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in (2.5 cm) chunks
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-in (2.5 cm) chunks
3 tbsp (45 ml) flour
3 tbsp (45 ml) water
MASHED POTATO TOPPING:
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
4 tbsp (60 ml) butter
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 pinch freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 ml) grated aged white cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add enough salt for water to become slightly salty. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then adjust heat so that water is at a medium boil. Cook until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain water and mash potatoes until smooth. Add cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the cheddar cheese and mix through.
  2. To assemble, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Divide Filling between four individual-sized oven safe casseroles, or one large 16 x 19-in (40.5 x 48 cm) casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and remaining cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes for individual sized, or 30 to 45 minutes for large size, or until cheese is golden brown and melted and filling is bubbling.
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SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

Ingredients

Serves 4
2 oz (60 g) pancetta, diced
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, divided
1 large onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
½ lb (250 g) extra lean ground beef
½ lb (250 g) extra lean ground pork
2 tsp (10 ml) kosher salt
½ tsp (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
¾ cup (175 ml) Italian red wine
¾ cup (175 ml) tomato passata (crushed tomatoes)
1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
1 cup (250 ml) homogenized milk
8 oz (250 g) dry spaghetti
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) grated Parmesan
basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook pancetta in 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter until fat has rendered. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook until vegetables have softened, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Turn heat up to medium-high, crumble ground beef and pork into pot. Season with salt and pepper. Break up meat and stir into vegetables. Cook until meat has browned lightly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook until paste has caramelized slightly, about 10 minutes. Add wine and stir to scrape up browned bits from bottom. Add crushed tomatoes, beef stock and milk. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Sauce should be thick with fat on top.
  4. Add spaghetti to boiling salted water, and cook according to package instructions. Put aside ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to sauce. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter and Parmesan, toss until pasta is coated. If too dry, add some reserved pasta water. Serve on a platter, garnish with more grated Parmesan and basil, as desired.
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LEMONGRASS BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
1 lb (500 g) extra-lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
3 tbsp (45 ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
1 small bunch mint, roughly chopped
4 stalks green onions, chopped
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
3 bird’s eye chilies, finely chopped (adjust amount according to taste)
3 heads baby gem lettuce, leaves separated and washed
2 limes, quartered

Instructions

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over mediumhigh heat. Add beef and spread it evenly over pan, brown it on one side. Stir beef and break it up into small pieces. Add garlic, shallot and lemongrass. Cook until all liquid has evaporated from pan. Drain off excess fat and put the pan back on the heat.
  2. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add mint, green onions, cilantro and chilis. Make sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling chilis. Serve with lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps. The lime wedges can be squeezed over each beef wrap to taste.
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Drink Pairings

CHIPOTLE BOURBON-MARINATED BEEF AND PINEAPPLE SKEWERS

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 5 (makes 8 skewers)
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup (250 ml) ketchup
½ cup (125 ml) bourbon, divided
3 tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp (45 ml) molasses
1 tbsp (15 ml) honey or agave syrup
1 chipotle chili, chopped, along with some adobo sauce, to taste
½ tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
½ tsp (2 ml) cayenne
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 lbs (1 kg) thick-cut sirloin steak, about 1½-in (3.75 cm) thick, cut into 1½-in (3.75 cm) cubes
1 medium red pepper, cored and cut into 2-in (5 cm) chunks
½ pineapple, cored and cut into 2-in (5 cm) chunks
8 to 16 heirloom cherry tomatoes
8 x 8-in (20 cm) skewers, if using wooden, soak overnight in water

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half the vegetable oil, add onion and garlic, sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, half the bourbon, vinegar, molasses, honey or agave syrup, chipotle, thyme and cayenne. For more heat and smoky flavour, add adobo sauce. Remove ¼ cup (60 ml) of the mixture and place into mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Simmer remaining mixture over low heat, until thickened, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a blender and carefully process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk reserved sauce with remaining vegetable oil and bourbon until blended. Add cubed beef and mix well. Transfer the whole mixture to a resealable plastic bag, seal and place into a shallow baking dish. Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, turning bag occasionally, or refrigerate up to 1 day. This marinade can also be used for chicken or pork.
  4. Remove beef pieces, discard excess marinade. On the skewers, alternately thread beef with pineapple and cherry tomatoes. Place on a preheated charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness, turning once.
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SPICED STEAK SERVED WITH GRILLED RAPINI SALAD AND SALSA VERDE

Ingredients

Serves 4
1 tbsp (15 ml) chili powder
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 ml) red pepper chili flakes
2 large garlic gloves, minced and mashed with 1 tsp (2 ml) sea salt
2 tsp (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) pepper
1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
2 lb (1 kg) hangar or skirt steak, trimmed
GRILLED RAPINI SALAD:
1 bunch rapini, ends trimmed, blanched and drained
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
3 tbsp (45 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 tsp (10 ml) kosher salt
½ tsp (2 ml) pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (250 ml) ½-in (1.25 cm) diced strawberries
ripped mint leaves, about a handful
¼ cup (60 ml) grated Parmesan
SALSA VERDE:
1 lb (500 g) tomatillos, about 10 to 12, husk removed, and rinsed
2 jalapeño or 4 serrano peppers, stemmed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup (60 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped white onion

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients, up to steak, until well blended. Rub all over meat and marinate in a resealable plastic bag; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  2. Grill steak on a well-oiled rack set about 4-in (10 cm) over hot coals or a medium-high heat barbecue, or in a hot, well-seasoned ridged grill pan over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until just springy to touch, for medium-rare. Allow steak to rest on a cutting board 5 minutes and cut across the grain on the diagonal into thin slices.
  3. Serve with Grilled Rapini Salad and Salsa Verde.
  4. To make GRILLED RAPINI SALAD: Preheat grill to medium. Add rapini and grill, turning once, until slightly charred, remove and place in a mixing bowl.
  5. Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Drizzle over rapini until well covered. Garnish with strawberries, mint leaves and Parmesan.
  6. To make SALSA VERDE: Preheat broiler. Roast the tomatillos and chilies on a baking sheet 4-in (10 cm) below the preheated broiler until they have dark spots and are blackened, about 5 minutes. Flip over and roast other side, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add roasted tomatillos, chilies and remaining ingredients, except onions, into a food processor. Blend to a coarse purée. Transfer to serving bowl and mix in onion. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1½ cups (625 ml).
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Drink Pairings

TAFELSPITZ WITH HORSERADISH CREAM SAUCE

Ingredients

Serves 6
2 medium onions, unpeeled, halved crosswise + 1 peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and halved
5 small turnips, peeled, trimmed and halved
1 large parsnip, peeled, halved
3 celery stalks, halved
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into 2-in (5 cm) pieces
3 whole parsley sprigs, divided
5 lb (2.25 kg) bottom round rump roast
4 to 5 4-in (10 cm) beef marrow bones
1 tsp (5 ml) whole black peppercorns
3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 ml) finely chopped chives, for garnish
HORSERADISH-APPLE SAUCE:
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½-in (1.25 cm) thick slices
2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) finely grated, freshly peeled horseradish root or hot prepared horseradish (not creamed)
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add unpeeled onions, cut-side down, and cook, without turning, until blackened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add 20 cups (5 L) water, cover and bring to a boil. Carefully place a third of the vegetables plus 2 parsley sprigs into pot. Add meat, half of the marrow bones, peppercorns and blackened onions. Return to a boil. Partially cover pot and simmer, skimming foam and fat that surfaces, cooking 2½ to 3½ hours, or until meat is tender. Transfer meat and bones to a dish and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm.
  3. Strain broth through a double layer of cheesecloth set in a sieve, placed over a bowl. Discard cooked vegetables. Remove any excess fat that surfaces to the top. Return strained broth to large saucepan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining vegetables and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are just tender. Remove from broth and cut into ½-in (1.25 cm) slices. Transfer to a deep heatproof serving dish and cover to keep warm.
  4. Remove marrow from reserved bones, discarding bones, and whisk into broth. Strain broth through a double-layer of cheesecloth set in a sieve into a pot. Keep warm over low heat.
  5. To serve, carve meat across the grain into ½-in (1.25 cm) thick slices and arrange along with the warmed reserved vegetables. Cover with broth. Season to taste and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with horseradish-apple sauce.
  6. To make HORSERADISH-APPLE SAUCE: Steam apples in a covered steamer basket set over a pot of gently boiling water until soft, about 5 minutes. Or microwave, covered, until soft.
  7. Place into mixing bowl and mash with horseradish, olive oil, sugar and salt to taste. Set aside to cool.
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