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Posts tagged ‘christmas’

Roasting for the Holidays

What are you roasting for Christmas this year?

It seems fitting that a holiday gathering should center on a piece of roasted meat. Thanksgiving has the turkey, but at Christmas there’s room for more culinary expression.

While technically not a roast, something we always recommend for a big party is the cassoulet. An iconic French dish of beans and cured meats, the cassoulet has come into its own the past few years. Lots of restaurants are serving it, in all kinds of variations. Our recipe kit is the classic version from Southwest France, as you would expect. This one-dish meal serves up to 12 people, making it ideal for a holiday meal.

This is the natural "crust" that is formed on a cassoulet. No crumbs required.

This is the natural “crust” that is formed on a cassoulet. No crumbs required.

The Christmas goose. Without Dickens, would we all yearn for a roasted goose on the table? When you want to invoke tradition, and do it with flare, this is the bird for you. With dark meat and incomparable flavor, a goose is ideal for a smaller crowd – say 5 to 7 people.

Roasted Goose

Roasted Goose, a la Dickens

Another well-established European tradition is the capon. Bigger than a chicken, with more robust flavor, plus a lot more breast meat, the capon is a crowd-pleaser.

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A juicy capon for Christmas.

Many families roast a turkey at Christmas, and it’s a solid choice, because it feeds many and is a little more mainstream than a goose or capon. We like ours with black truffle butter under the skin, just to keep things interesting.

D'Artagnan Food products

Black truffle butter serves to flavor and baste the turkey.

For those with a taste for red meat, there’s always Wagyu beef. This 3- or 4-rib roast is the last word in luxurious dining. There’s not much to do when it comes to roasting this epic piece of beef – just be sure not to overcook it. You want to err on the side of rare to maintain the exquisite texture and flavor.

Recipe_Wagyu_Standing_Rib_Roast_HomeMedium

The Wagyu beef standing rib roast in all its glory.

No, we did not forget the holiday ham. Ours is made with heritage-breed pork and is smoked over real applewood. All you need to do it glaze it and pop it in the oven for a superb meal of impressive proportions.

DArtagnan 2013_705A

Our heritage ham all glazed and ready.

Whatever you decide to place at the center of your holiday feast, you’d better order fast for delivery before Christmas! Monday, Dec. 22 is the last chance!

Gift Guide for the Food Lover

DArtagnan 2013_612There is likely someone you know who is completely obsessed with food. You don’t know how they can talk about food for so long and in such detail. But they do.

We exist for these folks. Variously called “foodies” (a term many dislike) or “foodists” (sounds a little more serious), these are our people. If you’ve got one of these fine folks on your Christmas list and have no idea what to give them … we’re here to help.

Our gift baskets come in three sizes and are each filled with a sampling of our favorite charcuterie. Not to mention truffle butter. These are designed with the gourmand in mind. You can order one here.

Why not go for something luxurious? Say, a lobe or terrine of foie gras, a tin of caviar, or a piece of premium meat, like our Wagyu beef. Something not on the weeknight dinner menu. Something memorable.

We like the cassoulet kit as a gift for a devoted cook, because it’s a cooking project and a legendary dish (Julia Child raved about it). It involves many steps and ingredients, so it’s an experience as well as a meal. And if you get the kit with the clay bowl, your gift recipient will have an unique addition to the kitchen arsenal. Just make sure you get invited over for the cassoulet feast.
Christmas Gifts Graphic

Our new Reserve Jean Reno Olive Oil would make a fantastic gift for a film and food fan. The actor Jean Reno grows the olives, works with the mill, and has personally selected the three varieties of oils that bear his name. They are not perishable, so are easy to wrap and bring to the party. Purchase a single bottle, or a set of all three varieties. These are new to the market, and exclusive to D’Artagnan. So there is a chance your foodie has not yet heard of them!

3 bottle_withTable_no face

We’ve also got samplers of products that will make you look like a food hero. Sausage collections, duck combo packs, piles of steaks, a bacon sampler, and more are available on our website. There’s always the most tasteful gift of all–the gift certificate.

And should you have any questions, we have a team of hardcore food fanatics in our customer service department. Give them a call.

Roast Gala Goose Recipe

Forget your fear of flabby, greasy goose! This do-ahead method produces a succulent, flavorful bird with crispy skin. After poaching, only a half-hour of high-heat roasting is needed before serving.  It’s a classic and perfect centerpiece for a Christmas meal and should serve six.

Recipe_Gala_Goose_HomeMedium

Ingredients

One 9 to 11lb goose
3 tablespoons rendered goose fat
1½ cups each coarsely chopped carrots, onions, and celery
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
Peelings from 1 green apple (optional)
6 cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, cleaned, and coarsely chopped, liquid strained and reserved
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons Armagnac
1 tablespoon red currant jelly
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Remove giblets and neck from cavity, pull off any loose fat, and cut off first 2 wing joints, if still attached, and reserve. Wash goose, tie legs together, pick bird all over, and set aside.
  2. Put goose fat in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and render about 3 tablespoons of fat. Remove and discard remaining fat (or use later). Add giblets, wing pieces, neck, and vegetables to pan. Sauté until vegetables are browned, about 7 to 8 minutes, turning frequently. Sprinkle on flour, adjust heat to medium, and continue cooking until flour is lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Pour chicken stock and white wine into a covered roasting dish large enough to hold the goose, and bring to a boil. Add goose, breast side down, pieces of browned goose, and vegetables, parsley, apple peelings, cloves, and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to cover goose by about two-thirds, and bring to a simmer. Whisk a cup of this liquid into the sauté pan, then scrape the thickened liquid back into the roasting pan.
  4. Cover pan and cook very gently, regulating heat, if necessary, to keep it just simmering.
  5. After an hour, turn goose over, being careful not to break the skin. (A pair of rubber gloves is an easy way to do this.) Poach goose a total of 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Turn off heat and finish immediately, later in the day, or the next day.
  6. Recipe may be done ahead to this point.
  7. To finish immediately, preheat oven to 450° F.
  8. Remove goose from liquid, drain, and place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until skin is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. Take out of oven, and allow to stand for about 5 to 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, skim grease from pan liquid and strain to remove pieces of goose, vegetables, and seasonings. Discard pieces of goose and seasonings. Purée vegetables in a blender or food processor, and add back to pan. Boil quickly to reduce liquid by about half.
  10. Add porcini and soaking liquid, cherries, Armagnac, and red currant jelly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm until needed.
  11. To finish later or the next day, cover pan and set in refrigerator. When ready, remove layer of fat from liquid. Lift out goose and bring liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, then reheat goose in stock for about 10 minutes while preheating oven. Proceed with recipe as above.

Recipe: Alsatian Roast Goose with Foie Gras and Chestnuts

This luxurious Alsatian-style goose is stuffed with ground veal and pork, and foie gras. It is the perfect main course to serve for dinner on Christmas Eve. And in true Alsatian style, is served on a bed of cabbage.

Recipe_Alsatian_Roast_Goose_HomeMedium

Ingredients

For the cabbage:

1 large head red cabbage
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons rendered goose or duck fat
1 medium onion, sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red gooseberry jam or red currant jelly

For the goose: 

1 pound ready-to-use chestnuts
½ pound sliced white bread
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
½ pound each pork shoulder and veal shoulder
2 teaspoons ruby port
1 teaspoon Cognac
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon quarter epices, or 1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper
1 goose, 8 to 10 pounds, 2 wing joints, giblets, neck, and excess fat and skin removed, skin pricked
Grade A foie gras, about 1 pound, cleaned
1 each onion and carrot, coarsely chopped
1 cup Alsace Riesling wine
½ cup cold water

Preparation

  1. For the cabbage: Remove and discard any damaged cabbage leaves. Core and quarter cabbage, then cut into ¼-inch shreds. Combine wine, vinegar, and bay leaf in a bowl.
  2. Heat goose fat in a large, deep casserole over medium-high heat. Stir in onion and sauté until lightly browned, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage, apples, and wine-vinegar mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in jam or jelly.
  3. For the goose: Soak bread in milk. Heat the 1 teaspoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add shallots, cover, and sweat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Squeeze milk from bread. Combine bread, pork, and veal in a food processor, and pulse until chopped medium fine. Do not over process. Scrape mixture into a bowl, and add shallots, chestnuts, port, Cognac, parsley, quatre epices, and salt and pepper, and mix just to blend.
  5. Season inside of goose cavity with salt and pepper. Gently pack stuffing into goose, placing foie gras in the center of the stuffing. Truss goose with butcher’s twine, season outside with salt and pepper, and place on a rack in a roasting pan large enough to hold it comfortably. Melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter, and brush over goose.
  6. Turn goose on its side and roast for 1 hour. Turn bird to other side and roast another hour. While goose is roasting, prepare Braised Red Cabbage.
  7. After goose has roasted 2 hours, scatter onion and carrot in roasting pan, and turn bird on its back, breast up. Roast for 30 minutes longer, basting with pan juices two or three times. Goose should be golden brown, and juices should run pale pink when bird is deeply pricked in the breast. Remove goose from pan to a warm platter, tent with foil, and keep warm. Discard all fat from roasting pan and set pan on top of stove. Pour in wine and over medium-high heat, deglaze pan, stirring up all browned cooking bits. Reduce liquid to a glaze, then stir in the cold water and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain sauce and keep warm.
  8. Present whole roasted goose on the red cabbage. Slice at the table, and serve with stuffing and sauce.

Ideas for Edible Holiday Gifts

Edible holiday gifts, made lovingly by hand, are often times the most appreciated. Not only a delightful gesture, rolling up your sleeves and getting messy in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great way to check multiple people off of your gift list in one fell swoop. Here are our picks for delicious holiday gifts using our products.

biscochitos

1. Duckfat Biscochitos   

A traditional sugar cookie made with lard, biscochitos are a Christmas staple in the American Southwest. But the orange and fennel flavor reminds us more of Southwest France. So we had to create a version that uses our duckfat, bien sur! A duck-shaped cookie cutter gives a little extra D’Artagnan flair.

foiebutter

2. Foie Gras Butter   

This decadent treat will impress even the most die-hard foodies on your gift list. They don’t have to know how easy it is to make!

brittle

3. Pig Brittle 

Sweet, salty and smoky, this crunchy candy is generously studded with our applewood-smoked bacon and toasted pecans.  Just be warned – not only is Pig Brittle delicious, it’s addicting! Once your recipients taste it, it’ll be requested year after year.

garlic confit

4. Garlic Confit

A cooking staple in Gascon cooking, garlic confit is the gift that will keep on giving long after the holidays are over. Plump garlic cloves are gently cooked in duckfat until meltingly tender. Kept in the fridge, the confit will keep for up to a year (although it never lasts that long…). Cloves can be added to all kinds of recipes from sauces to braises to roasts.

rillettes

5. Rillettes

We are firm believers simple pleasures, our duck rillettes are made with duck, aromatic vegetables, herbs and little else. A small pot of this unctuous, meaty spread makes a wonderful gift, especially when paired with a crusty baguette!

Packaging

Of course an edible D’Artagnan gift should be presented with panache!

Rillettes, Foie Gras Butter and Garlic Confit should be packaged in non-reactive glass or ceramic jars that can be refrigerated, such as Weck Canning Jars or Le Creuset Mini Cocottes. We like tying gift tags on jars with festive red & white bakers string.

Pig Brittle and Duckfat Biscochitos can be left at room temp so the packaging possibilities are endless! Two of our favorite sites for packaging ideas and supplies are Cakegirls and Garnish. Check them out – both shops have a great selection and wonderful blogs full of creative ideas for packaging edibles.

The Art of the Feast

Open the latest NY Magazine to behold a mouthwatering Christmas Feast with classic recipes by Chef April Bloomfield and a gorgeous edible tableau, featuring a creamy feathered  D’Artagnan pekin, arranged by food stylist Alison Attenborough. Beautiful.

Chef Bloomfield’s main course of Balsamic-Glazed Slow-Roasted Duck

Click here for more photographs (but be warned, holiday spirit may ensue…).