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Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Stewing Essentials

Stewing is a versatile and economical method of one-pot cooking which creates delicious, stick-to-your-ribs dishes of tender meat and rich sauce. Similar to braising, a stew often consists of meats and vegetables slow-cooked in flavorful liquid over a low flame. The perfect antidote to winter’s chill, stew is deeply comforting and easy to make at home.

 

History
People have been stewing for centuries. There is archaeological evidence that tribal Amazonians used spent turtle shells to stew meats 8,000 years ago. Stew was mentioned in the biblical story of Cain and Abel and in fourth century Roman cookbook, Apicius. Guillaume Tirel’s, Le Viandier de Taillevent, the famous French tome, first published in 1395, also contains stewing recipes. Stews are found today, in nearly every cuisine, from daubes and blanquettes in France to Indian curries, Mexican pozoles to khoresht in Persia, niku jaga in Japan to good, old American beef stew.

Basics
Stewing and braising are both slow, moist-cooking methods with a few minor, yet key, differences. When making stews, the meat is cut into smallish, uniform chunks whereas when braising, muscles are usually left whole. When stewing, your meats and vegetables are completely submersed in the cooking liquid but when braising, the liquid should only partially cover your ingredients.

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Here are some loose guidelines and tips for a basic stew…

  1. Dredge – Dredging the hunks of meat in seasoned flour before browning will give quick color, add flavor and help thicken your final product.
  2. Sear – Searing your meat on all sides in a very hot pan in a little oil will adds a desirable, flavorful crust and creates fond (the super tasty, meaty bits that stick to the bottom of the pan). Both add an extra layer of flavor, taking your stew from bland and one dimensional to complex, rich and delicious.
  3. Add Aromatics – Chopped vegetables such as mirepoix (carrots, celery onion), garlic, herbs and spices + aromatic liquids, such as wine, beer, bouillon or stock, round out the flavor of your stew.
  4. Cover – A tight seal is essential to slow, moist-cooking. Condensation will form on the inside of the lid, dripping back into the stew, called self-basting, concentrating flavors and keeping ingredients moist and juicy.
  5. Skim – During cooking, extra fat will dissolve from the meat and rise to the surface of the stew. Using a skimming spoon or other wide shallow utensil, skim the excess oil away. Another method to removing unwanted fat is to completely chill down the stew after cooking then just spoon away the solidified grease from the top of the dish.

What to Stew
The best cuts of meat for stewing are modest, tough cuts – the muscles of the animal that tend to work harder, are more exercised and held together by strong connective tissue. Shanks and hocks, brisket, chuck, round, shoulder and trim/end pieces from various roasts/steaks (often sold as “stew meat”) all work well for stewing. To stew poultry, use dark meat pieces or whole tough birds as in France’s favorite dish of stewed rooster, Coq au Vin. The slow cooking method helps soften and tenderize the muscle fibers and breaks down connective tissue into gelatin resulting in a homey dish of meltingly tender meat with concentrated flavor. Don’t limit yourself to just stewing meats. You can also stew vegetables with fantastic results. French ratatouille is quite simply stewed eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, garlic and bell peppers. Other good vegetable candidates include celery, celery root, leeks, cabbage, fennel and almost any tough green, such as collards, kale, chards, dandelion or mustard greens.

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Quick Tips
Refrigerating a stew overnight marries and deepens the flavors of ingredients. The chilling process also brings excess fat to the surface where it solidifies. This makes for easy skimming.

Vegetables in a slow cooked stew end up very soft at the end of cooking. If you like, you can remove excessively mushy vegetables in the last 15 minutes of cook time and puree them in a blender or food processor before adding back to the stew. The smooth puree will thicken your sauce beautifully.

Take care not to “re-cook” stews when reheating. If you need to reheat, first remove the meat and set aside, then bring the liquid to a boil, toss the meat back in briefly then remove from the heat. Allow the stew to hover around 140 degrees F until the meat is heated through. Enjoy!

5 Braise-Worthy Recipes

With 15% off all the cuts fit to braise right now, let’s look at some classic recipes for braising, shall we?

1. Rabbit. This Irish recipe by the inimitable Colman Andrews has hard cider in the braising liquid. Which is also really nice for drinking while your rabbit simmers.

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2. Osso buco. We’ve got lamb, veal and venison osso buco on sale. This classic Italian recipe is for veal osso buco, but we encourage you to play with the other types.

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3. Duck. You may not think of duck as a braising meat, but Daniel Boulud knows best. When it comes to duck legs, he browns then braises. That would go for rabbit or guinea hen legs, too.

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4. Beef short ribs. We love to sink our teeth into some tender short ribs. It doesn’t get better than this recipe from Aliya Leekong.

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5. Lamb shanks. The Lobel Brothers know their way around a shank. These Persian-style lamb shanks are fragrant with turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom.

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Valentine’s Day at Home: The Main Event

What’s for dinner on Valentine’s Day? For those who like eat in, here are a few inspirational recipes.

If you’re cooking to impress and are not intimidated by a classic dish, our Tournedos Rossini offers a trifecta of flavors: filet mignon, foie gras, black truffle. Surprisingly simple and totally decadent.

Named for the composer Rossini and created by one or another of the famous chefs of the nineteenth century. Was it Carême? Escoffier? Or Dugléré? Whoever was responsible, we thank him.

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Craving steak? Is the Rossini version is just a little outside your comfort zone?  Try this rib-eye à la Marcus Samuelsson, served with greens and root vegetable mash. It’s earthy and fitting for the time of year.

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To duck aficionados any occasion is the right one for duck steak – which is what we call the duck magret. Simply seared and dressed with a pan sauce, this recipe is a D’Artagnan classic. It’s also quick to make, which leaves more time for conversation and wine drinking.

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Love birds? Try serving a whole poussin for each diner. These tasty and tender little birds are divine when simply roasted and served with beautiful Champagne grapes.

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Our veal chops make for an elegant plate. Especially when pan seared and served with paprika and cream sauce. This is an adaptation of an historic recipe, and is actually an easy one, thanks to Deana Sidney.

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Rack of lamb is not your ordinary fare. Make the most of it with this succulent recipe from Ariane Duarte, which involves rosemary crumbs and a hot oven. It’s a classic that serves in any season.

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Now that the main course is taken care of, you just have to consider dessert.  Look to our next post for some decidedly different recipes to finish the meal.

Top 7 Favorites for Game Day Grub

Football fans who also happen to be foodies know that the Super Bowl is a chance to eat well and to show off their kitchen skills to a whole party at the big game.

First off, we are offering 15% off a choice selection of items like ribs, sausages, ground beef (Wagyu included!) and various nibbles that require little prep. All will be welcome additions to your game-day lineup.

And when it comes to recipes, we’ve got you covered with some serious game day grub.

With a nod to New England, we love a good lobster roll. And with our hickory smoked bacon on top, these are the best. Plus they are fairly easy to eat on a couch in a crowded room.

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Speaking of bacon, bring your “A” game to the chips and dip with this utterly addictive wild mushroom and bacon creamy dip. Use the best, solidly-built potato chips you can find to scoop up this heavenly stuff. Double the recipe for a big crowd.

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Somebody had to say it: ribs make life complete. While these sweet-and-sticky ribs are just that, it’s worth all the wet-naps in the world to have these piled high for the party. Use our Berkshire pork baby back ribs for the recipe and know the taste of victory.

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Looking for something less hands-on? Try a big pot of gumbo, made with our spicy andouille sausage. This will serve up easily; just stack some bowls and put out the spoons. Make it a day ahead for convenience.

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For another one-pot meal that is sure to please, use buffalo meat in this wild take on classic chili. We like the simple things in life, done with a twist. Heirloom beans and buffalo (we adapted it to use ground meat) make this recipe an all-American dish.

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And where there is chili, there should be cornbread. Watch the crumbs, fellows! Our recipe is enhanced with bacon. But of course it is.

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Here’s another idea we love. Anyone can pull pork, but who is planning to pull duck leg confit? Here the real work is in making your own sauce (so worth a little effort!). The duck leg confit shreds up real easy, so making these sandwiches is a breeze.

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Enjoy the Super Bowl! And just remember, the real game is in the kitchen. May the best team, er … cook, win

 

 

New Year’s Eve Party

We think every party needs a charcuterie board on the table. With that strong beginning, you can serve all manner of tasty nibbles and host a New Year’s Eve party that everyone will talk about well into next year.

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If you take our suggestion and serve charcuterie – duck rillettes, pâté, saucisson sec – these quick pickled mushrooms will complement the rich flavors and textures nicely.

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Our chorizo croquettes are served with smoky paprika sauce and make a fabulous finger food for a New Year’s Eve party.

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Get the best puff pastry you can find for these mushroom vol-au-vents. And let the vegetarians know that you will have tasty options for them.

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New Year’s Eve calls for the fancy stuff. Our caviar pairs well with baby red potatoes and crème fraiche in this simple –  yet elegant – recipe.

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These dainty deviled quail eggs with porcini and parmesan  will be a hit. Set them in a drift of parmesan cheese and watch them vanish fast.

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And after the revelry is done, and you are looking for a fortifying New Year’s Day brunch, look to our recipes for inspiration. Because bacon helps make everything better. Your resolutions actually begin January 2.

 

Duckspotting @ Borough + Parlour, Minneapolis

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

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Where: Borough + Parlour

What: Chef Drew Yancey’s  Smoked Pork Belly, Celery Root, Apple, Marieke Gouda, and Hazelnut

How: Borough is at  730 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401 |  for reservations click here or call (612) 354-3135

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to lilyh@dartagnan.com. Or post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Duckspotting. We’ll give you & the restaurant a shout out!

Secret Ingredient: Demi-Glace

Our Secret Ingredients series shines a light on products that make all the difference when cooking with D’Artagnan.

Demi-glace is one of those things that professional chefs know about and home cooks need to discover. For sauces, there is nothing better. Braising liquid fortified with demi-glace is a miracle. Added to soups, bean dishes and yes, mushroom or vegetable sautés, demi-glace is the secret sauce.

Don’t get caught without demi-glace in the freezer.

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Secret ingredient bonus: pictured is our duck and veal demi-glace. For those more beefy dishes, try our veal demi-glace.

 

What is Barding?

Most people agree that everything tastes better with bacon. Wrapping foods in bacon is a fad with serious staying power…and deep historical roots. The technical term for wrapping food in a layer of fat to add flavor and moisture is “barding.” Bacon is commonly used because aside from its signature fat content, the flavor is sweet, salty and smoky at the same time. Perfect for imparting flavor to a lean piece of meat.

Pigeon with bacon and myrtle and wild berries

Classic bacon-wrapped items, such as rumaki (chicken liver or water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and brushed with a sweet soy glaze), angels on horseback (oysters wrapped in bacon), devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon), and bacon-wrapped filet mignon, have been around for years. Veal paupiettes are another classic version of barding.

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Think beyond these old school stand-bys and try baconizing the following:

  • Fruit: dried dates, pineapple wedges, fresh figs
  • Vegetables: bundles of asparagus, green beans or green onions, mushrooms, potato wedges, spicy peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, slices of acorn squash
  • Seafood: shrimp, scallops, thick pieces of fish, like seabass or salmon
  • Meat: pork loin, venison tenderloin, meatloaf or meatballs, hamburger sliders
  • Poultry: whole pheasants or guinea hen, bite-sized chicken pieces, bone-in turkey breast, quail
  • Other: hard-cooked eggs, rolls or bread sticks

Once your items are wrapped in bacon, you can choose to bake, broil, grill, or sauté them. If the item you are wrapping in bacon has a short cook time (e.g., a fresh fig), you will need to par-cook the bacon before using to ensure it is fully cooked when the dish is ready to eat. Cook the bacon first in a skillet or the oven until it is half-way cooked, but still pliable. Then proceed to twist, drape or wrap it around the item of your choice, and finish it in the oven, on the grill or in the pan.

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Mix things up by using a wide variety of bacon. Hickory smoked and applewood smoked both have the traditional flavors we all recognize. For something completely different, try duck bacon wrapped around dried apricots or baby bok choy. Ventrèche, or French pancetta, isn’t technically bacon because it is not smoked, but can be used in all the same ways. It is especially good wrapped around figs and blue cheese.

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This squab recipe involves plums wrapped in bacon, which is a variation we highly  recommend. And you can watch Chef Marcus Samuelsson prepare it in our video.

A Salad Post (Scandalous!)

You don’t have to double check – this is the D’Artagnan blog, and you did just read the word “salad.” We are known as hardcore carnivores, but we are hungry omnivores with an appreciation for a well-composed salad. As long as there is some meat on it.

And it’s summer  – the perfect time to try one of our favorite salads, like this smoked duck and cherry salad that serves beautifully as a cold supper on a hot night.

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While this salad is perfect for brunch, it could easily satisfy as a dinner. The winning combination of bacon and eggs works well on a bed of asparagus.

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A somewhat less traditional salad, with the frisée and romaine lettuces lightly browned in butter, makes a delicious surprise.  Then the salad dressing is stirred in the hot pan. Now that is a salad! Watch Marcus Samuelsson demonstrate the technique in this video with Ariane. The rich red meat of squab deserves a bed of salad like this. Did we mention the plums wrapped in bacon? Oh, yeah.

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A yearlong favorite, the simplest salad of all: duck confit shredded and served atop your favorite greens.  Our recipe has an Asian flair, but you can dress the salad with a basic vinaigrette as well, with equally satisfying results. Get the confit crispy under the broiler for maximum effect. Recipe_Crispy_Duck_Salad_HomeMedium

While it seems minimal, this salad of thinly-sliced cucumbers offers a refreshing crunch when paired with lamb.  Is is salad? We will allow it.

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The classic Cobb salad gets a D’Artagnan spin with smoked chicken breast, tiny quail eggs and hickory smoked bacon. We must admit, it’s a a great salad.

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Bacon & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

Great for brunch, this golden bread is packed with flavorful bacon, cheese, and fresh herbs between each heavenly layer. Adapted from a sweet bread recipe by legendary baker, Flo Braker, this bread is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Serve warm with unsalted butter for an extra decadent treat.

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Ingredients

2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

for the dough

For the Filling

6 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup finely chopped soft herbs, such as flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, dill, and thyme
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

for the topping

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Add salt and softened butter. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on medium speed until combined and a shaggy dough is formed.

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Switch to the dough hook, and with the mixer on low speed, the rest of the flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is formed.

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Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and becomes springy and pliable, about 8 minutes.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a round ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise into warm location until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

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Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Allow to rest for a few minutes before rolling out into a 12 inch x 20 inch rectangle.

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Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, then season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the diced bacon and parmesan cheese.

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Then add garlic, herbs and cheddar cheese evenly over the dough.

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Cut the dough into 6 equally sized strips.  A pizza wheel works well for this. Using a large offset spatula to lift the dough, stack the strips on top of each other.

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Cut the stacked dough width wise into 6 rectangles. A large chef’s knife works well. Stack the squares on top of each other, cut side up in a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Once filled, drizzle the remaining butter over the top.

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Cover the loaf with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for about 45 more minutes.

Bake in a 350 degree F preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown on top and the center of the loaf registers 190 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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