Christmas Port Braised Pot Roast w/Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

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Here we have Six Grapes Port as well as a gifted custom-made batch of port, and started off Christmas Dinner with an appetizer of Tom de Savoie, some creamy Le Delice de Bourgogne, a dried fruit and nut brick from Bristol Farms, black & green Spanish olives and black pepper crackers.

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IMG_4179 copyChristmas Port Braised Pot Roast

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1 4lb Chuck Roast

2 tbsp Flour (for dipping)

2-3 tbsp Olive Oil

2 Onions + 1 Shallot, quartered

8 Carrots (or 6 for large), cut in 2-inch pieces

6 cloves Garlic, halved

1 cup Port

2 cups Mushroom Stock

4 sprigs Rosemary

Salt & Pepper to taste

Our recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman, but instead of wine we used port, in place of beef stock we used mushroom stock, we added shallots in with the onion, added garlic cloves, and used extra sprigs of rosemary in place of using thyme.

Start your roast by selecting a choice piece of grassfed Chuck Roast with plenty of marbling. The fat is where the flavor comes from and also texturizes the meat so that it is not so compressed.

IMG_0958 copy– Generously salt & pepper both sides of the chuck roast, and dip each side in flour.

– Heat olive oil on medium-high in a roasting pot. Add onions and brown each side. Remove Onions.

IMG_0952 copy– Add carrots to the same oil. Stir around till they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove.

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– Add more oil if needed, sear both sides and edges of the chuck roast. Remove.

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– Pour in the port and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a whisk.

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– Throw everything back in the pot, starting with the meat, then the onions and carrots, add garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary on top. Pour in the mushroom stock. Cover. And put in the preheated oven for 4 hours at 275 degrees.

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*This is an oven recipe. Using a crock pot is also possible.

Make Mashed Potatoes to accompany the stew-like roast (russet potatoes, lots of butter, half & half, salt & pepper, and a dash of nutmeg):

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The Brussel Sprouts are simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. The secret is to toss them thoroughly halfway through and add butter. Roast in same oven as the Roast for the last 40 minutes.

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IMG_4233 copyMerry Christmas!

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Swiss Raclette w/Kirsch

Had to share this great winter meal. The Swiss eat Raclette when it gets cold. Lesser known than Fondue, Raclette is a type of cheese which you melt in a special burner, in a special tray, using special scraping utensils. It is paired with either gold potatoes or red russet potatoes as well as pickled items of any sort, here it is: cornichons, cocktail onions, pickled mushrooms, pickled artichoke, and pickled garlic.

Serve with butter lettuce and französische salatsauce (a mayonnaise dijon dressing).

*Sliced baguette is not traditionally served with this dish.

pair with kirsch or white wine

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Miso Sake Chilean Sea Bass w/Herbed Rice Timbales and ‘Fermented’ Red Beans

Sake bottles can be extremely beautiful:

Kikusui Junmai Ginjo – 6.95 (B), 35.00 (M), (tall, blue-ish bottle)
Taru sake, tastes like melon and has a creamy, smooth rice flavor

(^ ‘Ginjo sakes are defined by the polishing ratio of the rice used to make them. In order to qualify as a Ginjo sake, the rice used in the brewing process must have been polished down to 60% of its original volume’)

Kamotsuru Tokusei Gold – 15.95 (S), (short, dimpled bottle)
gold flakes inside, an elegant fragrance, rich, dry and a little sweet

MISO SAKE CHILEAN SEA BASS

2 thick pieces of Chilean Sea Bass

1/2 cup sake

2 tbsp white miso paste

dash soy sauce

2 tbsp ginger, grated

1/2 bunch cilantro

butter, slabs on top for cooking (we used 4!)

s/p

– peel and grate the ginger.

– marinate the fish in sake, salt & pepper for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. place the sea bass in a baking dish over a layer of sliced limes. pour the leftover marinade over the fish.

– compile miso glaze by mixing together the miso paste, grated ginger, chopped cilantro, soy sauce, and more sake. pour over the fish.

– put some butter on it and stick it in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes (broil briefly).

HERBED RICE TIMBALES

1 1/2 cup rice, cooked (we used Basmati)

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 onion, chopped

olive oil

water, as needed

s/p

– saute the onion in olive oil, then add the cilantro, some salt and pepper, and most of the cooked rice. stir. you want to have the right consistency for timbales to hold their form, so add oil/water/rice as needed. (we used one of the sake cups to shape the timbales).

‘FERMENTED’ RED BEANS

1/2 lb (8 oz) dried red beans

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

water (follow directions on bean package)

s/p

– rinse, then soak dried beans overnight, or for at least 6 hours before cooking. drain. cook beans in fresh water for 1-1 1/2 hours, without lid for water to cook off.

– season halfway through with pressed fresh garlic, add apple cider vinegar to simulate ‘fermentation’, salt and pepper to taste (red beans provide an innate earthy flavor).

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– serve with pickled garnishes

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Dessert: BEAN CAKES WITH SAKE INFUSED CREAM

Colored Bottles

Does bottle color matter?

Not if bottles are stored in a cool, dark place (*more on storage later). Direct sunlight and fluorescent or UV lighting will speed the oxidation process. The darker the tint of glass, the more light diffused, helping to protect the liquid within.

Clear bottles are popular with white wine producers, however, most red wine worldwide is still bottled in green glass. Beer is typically stored in green or brown bottles, as well as clear. Liquor comes in a myriad of colors, mostly due to Marketing.

Frangelico Hazelnut Chicken w/Chèvre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frangelico Hazelnut Chicken w/Chèvre

(serve with Frangelico Mushrooms , Roasted Asparagus and Egg Noodles)

6 Chicken breasts, or fake chicken

1 cup breadcrumbs

½ cup parmesan, grated

1 egg

½ cup onion

3 strips bacon

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, (pieces)

1 package chèvre/goat cheese

lemon juice

2 slabs butter

parsley

For Jus:

4 gloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup Franjelico

butter

s/p

handful, ¼ cup fresh parsley

– crush the hazelnuts, toast the breadcrumbs, fry the bacon and then chop it, saute the onions, then combine everything for chicken stuffing in a bowl and mix.

– make the Franjelico Jus separately, then pour in with stuffing and mix. (set some Jus aside to go over noodles)

– fold the chicken breasts with the stuffing inside (or stuff the dressing under the skin of each chicken breast, if skin on) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes till done.

– roast the asparagus with olive oil, slabs butter, salt & pepper (and lemon if desired).

Franjelico Mushrooms:

2 packages baby bella mushrooms

3 leeks, or half bunch green onion, sliced

olive oil

butter

1 tbsp Franjelico

1 tsp maple syrup

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh parsley

s/p

– saute the mushrooms in olive oil with some butter, green onion or leek, garlic, Franjelico, parsley, salt and pepper, and a touch of maple syrup. Cook until liquid integrates.

Dessert: Frangelico Affogato

A scoop of vanilla ice cream (Haagen Dazs) with a shot of hot espresso poured over it and a tablespoon of Frangelico.