With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals. Lentils are my latest thing. I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best. It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style. The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too! I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination. Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sometimes The Chef and I disagree on the goodness level of certain recipes. There are recipes I love that he thinks are too standard to make as frequently as I request them. Like his Tortilla Soup. Or his Tomato Soup. Or his Mushroom Sauce. So, soups and sauces basically. Look, I know what I like.
Anyway, this is one of those recipes. In the infinite bounty that is The Chef’s current catering gig, he brought home some short ribs the other night that only needed a saucy boost for dinner. He whipped up this simple red wine sauce in 10 minutes, and while he found the whole thing totally boring, I found this sauce freaking delectable.
It’s obviously awesome on meat of any kind – and we fully plan to test it over tenderloin with fried eggs and cheese grits for Sunday brunch – but I’d wager you could even make tofu edible with this stuff. Observe:
half bottle of decent red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
- In a saucepan, reduce red wine by half. Then add beef broth.
- In another pan, make a blonde roux: Melt one tablespoon of butter, add one tablespoon of flour, and stir constantly for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Slowly whisk the roux into the sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper and drizzle on EVERYTHING.
I’d say you can go two ways with this tenderloin: served warm as a main dish with German Braised Veggies or the classic, Southern buffet way: cold on Sister Schubert rolls. Either way it’s pure nummy.
1 pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 oz of red wine
8 oz of beef stock
2 tsp prepared whole grain mustard
1 tsp butter
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Heat a saute pan with the oil and season the tenderloin with salt and pepper.
- When the oil is just about to smoke, sear off tenderloin (sear all sides until golden brown). Place pan in a 325 degree oven until tenderloin reaches an internal temp of 130.
- Remove pork and let rest on cutting board. Place pan back on stove over medium heat.
- Sweat shallots and garlic. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by half.
- Add the stock and mustard and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Pull off heat, strain, and swirl in butter.
This November was the month of the short rib. We used them to celebrate 5 different birthdays, and everyone gave these rave reviews. Despite the fact that you can find short ribs in all the high-falutin’ restaurants, I was surprised to learn they are actually not that expensive.
While this recipe takes a little time, it’s not nearly as complex as it looks. Plus it has that fancy-pants quality that makes your guests jealous of your culinary prowess, and I think we all know that’s why you have people over for dinner in the first place.
6 pounds of bone in short ribs
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 celery stalks, pureed
1 carrot, pureed
1 yellow onion, pureed
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
1 quart beef stock
2 cups red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- The day before you cook the short ribs , season them with salt and pepper and refrigerate. You can also puree the veggies ahead of time. Pureeing is what gives you a nice, thick sauce, so don’t skip it.
- The day you plan to eat the short ribs you will need to start the cooking process 5 hours ahead of time. Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add half of the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer ribs to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the ribs, adding more oil if you need to.
- Add celery, carrot, and onion to the pan along with a good pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until softened.
- Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add stock, wine, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Return the short ribs to the pan, cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour.
- Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and cook for 4 hours.Remove the ribs to a large bowl. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- While the sauce reduces, skim the excess fat off. Serve ribs with sauce on top.
The Chef likes to serve these over linguine, horseradish mashed potatoes, or cheddar grits and likes to garnish the plates with freshly grated horseradish. Zesty.
I was first introduced to these fliptastic mushrooms in middle school when Dottie Fisher brought them to school for lunch. Kim Kyle and I used to fight over who got to drink the sauce. I think that’s exactly what Hutchison (“The comprehensive girls’ school in Memphis” according to their newly-minted website slogan) wanted to turn us into: quibbling, mushroom-munching sauce-chuggers. How ladylike!
The recipe comes from Heart & Soul, the best cookbook I’ve ever owned.
2 pounds mushrooms
1 2/3 cups burgundy
1 cup beef broth
1 /4 cup butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dillseed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced (I like to smash these instead of mincing them because it makes for easier juice-drinking. Yeah, I said it. What of it?)
- In a large Dutch oven or slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour.
- Uncover and simmer 2 hours more (or until the sauce is reduced to the consistency you like).
- Serve hot.
I serve these as an app out of a crockpot, but H&S suggests serving them sliced over steaks which is equally slap-yo-momma fantastic.
Well folks, it’s official: Nummy Num Num has hit the west coast. And the illustrious Justin Pitts has thrown a little of his culinary expertise back home to the dirty south in the form of Memphis’ favorite meat. If you’re BBQed out but still need your pork fix, a good braise will definitely satisfy your soul.
2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 5-6 big chunks
Mirepoix (1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 celery stalks, chopped) – that’s French y’all!
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (one squeeze of the kind in the tube probably= a couple tablespoon
2 TB AP flour
Cup or so of red wine
1 to 1.5 cups beef stock
bunch of parsley
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 sprigs thyme
2-3 bay leaves wrapped up and tied with kitchen string (or just throw them in)
water (optional, to bring liquid level up if needed)
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Get a big dutch oven. Season pork with S/P and sear it off well in olive oil, set it aside.
- Add Mirepoix and sweat it, then add garlic. Stir in tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes to get raw flavor out. Stir in flour and do the same.
- Pour in red wine and reduce it by about half.
- Put the pork back in. Add the beef stock and herbs until pork is almost covered but not completely swimming in liquid. Add water if needed.
- Cover the pot and put it in the oven (or cook over a really low heat on the stove).
- Braise the *crap out of it for about 3 hours or until it’s falling apart. Should make enough for 4 people.
*Sorry Pitts, but I had to PG your language up a little here since I know a few parents check in from time to time. I did, however, love your suggestion to serve this over Parmesan polenta in which you said “make polenta, thin it out with butter and milk, and add a s—load of cheese.” I’m pretty sure that’s what Julia Child wrote in all her cookbooks too.