Pot Roast

  • 4-5 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, medium dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, medium dice
  • 2 carrots, medium dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 3 c beef or chicken stock
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 3 T tamarind concentrate
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T soya sauce
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 3 bay leaves and/or 3 fresh stems of thyme
  • 1 1/2 c 2″ cubed yellow potatoes
  • 1 1/2 c 2″ cubed turnips

Preheat oven to 225°F.

Season the roast on all sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Sear in an oiled very hot cast iron skillet or large dutch oven on all sides until well browned. Sauté the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots aromatics until soft and browned. sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook until the flour is very slightly toasted. Once the vegetables are done, deglaze pan with brandy and pour over roast with the onions carrots peppers and garlic. Add all the remaining braise ingredients including the bay leaves and thyme.

Braise with the lid slightly ajar until the roast is very tender but not falling apart. Leaving the lid slightly off ensures that the temperature of the roast and liquid never goes over about 185°F, ensuring that you don’t overcook the roast. This can take anywhere from 3 – 6 hours depending on your roast and your oven. Start checking it around 2 hours in to see how it’s progressing. Around an hour and a half before you think the roast will be done add in the potatoes and turnips. Once everything is cooked let it come to room temperature and then sit overnight in the fridge. The next day skim the fat off the top remove the roast, and check the potatoes and turnips for doneness. If they’re still a bit firm, you can cook them further in the sauce as you reduce it. If they’re done, remove them and keep warm in a 200°F oven and continue to reduce the sauce by at least half or until it is flavorful and thickened but not too strong. Once sufficiently reduced and thick, slice the roast against the grain in thick slices and place in a pan. Spoon the sauce over the meat and heat on low until the meat is warm through. You can do the same for the potatoes and turnips. serve over buttered Spätzle and top with freshly minced parsley.

 

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Jalapeño-Cheddar Biscuits

  • 3 c soft white flour
  • 4 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1 7/8 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb very sharp cheddar, cut into small cubes or coarsely grated
    • plus an extra 1/4 c (opt.)
  • 2-4 jalapeños, minced, about 1/4-1/3 c total, depending on your preference

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the cubed cheese and jalapeños. Be sure to check the chilies’ heat level and decide how much of the inner membranes you want to leave in, if any. Make sure the cheese and chillies are evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture. Add in the cream and mix with a large wooden spoon until it just comes together in a shaggy ball. Be very careful not to overmix or else they will become tough instead of tender and flaky. Using either a dough/batter scoop or a large spoon, scoop balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with more shredded cheese if desired. Bake until golden brown at 450°F for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Makes 24 1 1/2″ small biscuits or about 12-16 large ones.

Banana Nut Pineapple Cake

  • c flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • t salt
  • t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cardamom
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 2 1/4 c raw sugar
    • OR 1 c each white and brown sugar
  • 3/4 c yoghurt
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • large eggs
  • t vanilla extract
  • c crushed pineapple, drained
  • 4-5 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 c shredded coconut
  • 3/4 c chopped raw pecans

Icing:

  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 – 3 c icing sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1-2 T lemon juice

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl and sift to combine. In another bowl combine the eggs, sugar, yoghurt, oil and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in the mashed banana, pineapple, and coconut. Mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches until just barely incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Mix in the pecans.

Divide into 2 prepared 8″ round pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 325F for 30-40 minutes.

Icing: Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer until light and fluffy, about 7 min.

Once the sugar is mixed in add the cream cheese in pieces and combine. Don’t over-mix after adding the cream cheese else the icing may turn runny.

Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Skewers

  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
  • 15 Kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T minced fresh galangal
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced OR 4 scallions
  • 1 T turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 t fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 T Three Crabs Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 T vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c Panko

Place all ingredients aside from the meat, egg, and breadcrumbs into a food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms.

Combine with the meat, breadcrumbs and egg until thoroughly mixed.

Mould onto bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water overnight. Grill over medium-high heat until charred on the outside and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

  • 1 C white sugar
  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 t almond extract
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C very strong black coffee, freshly boiled
  • 1 24-28 oz jar sour cherries in juice
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 T icing sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • shaved dark chocolate, for garnish

In the large bowl of a stand mixer add the sugar and half of the butter. Mix until combined. Meanwhile chop the baking chocolate into rough chunks. Melt the remaining butter in a small bowl and then add in the baking chocolate, mixing with a rubber spatula until the chocolate has fully melted. Add to the sugar/butter mixture. Beat until the chocolate is fully incorporated and it has cooled down some. Next beat the eggs in one at a time. Add in the buttermilk and extracts, mixing slowly so it doesn’t slosh over the rim.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and soda together. Slowly add to the batter, alternating with the almonds, mixing slowly after each addition until the dry ingredients are just barely incorporated.

Add in the boiling hot coffee and mix until a uniform consistency, making sure to use a rubber spatula to get any thick bits of batter up from the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Pour into 2 prepared (greased and floured) 8″ or 9″ round cake pans. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until just done in the centre.

Whilst the cake is baking, drain the juice from the cherries and pour into a small saucepan. Add water or another unsweetened fruit juice (cherry, cranberry, apple) to make about 1 C. Add in the sugar and bring to a boil, and reduce until a medium syrup is formed – it is noticeably viscous, but pours easily. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool.

Beat the cream in a very cold bowl until soft peaks form, add the sugar and extracts, and beat until stiff.

Once the cake is out of the oven, allow to fully cool. Once cool, trim the cakes so they are flat on top and then invert one onto a cake stand. Prick all over with a skewer and brush about half the cooled cherry syrup all over the cake. Add half the whipped cream spread evenly. Top with half the cherries. Place the next layer on top and do the same as with the bottom layer, prick with skewer, brush with syrup, add whipped cream and then add the cherries. You can either place them all in the middle for a more rustic looking cake, or arrange them in a pattern. Top with shaved dark chocolate.

Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

  • 1 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 c fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 1/3 c all-purpose flour, double sifted
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t orange extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 12 oz whole, fresh cranberries (frozen is fine)

Cream the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one to add in as much air as possible. Add in the extracts, orange juice, and zest and mix until just combined.

Sift about 2 cups of flour into a bowl and then measure from that your 2 1/3 c of flour back into your sifter, Or you can whisk up your flour container to lighten up your flour and then gently measure from that your 2 1/3 c into your sifter. You want your flour to be as light and airy as possible or else you will add in too much flour and weigh down your cake.
Mix in your salt with your flour with a whisk.

In 3 batches, add your flour into your wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined, 15-20 seconds. Add in your cranberries. If they’re frozen you’ll probably want to mix them in with a wooden spoon because they will chill your batter and make it hard to mix in. If mixing in fresh berries, use a spatula so you don’t rupture too many of them.

Bake at 325°F for 60-75 minutes in a well greased loaf pan or small tube pan, or until a cake tester comes out clean (though you’ll get juiciness from the cranberries).

Beef & Potato Curry with Yoghurt Gravy

  • 5 medium red or yellow waxy potatoes, cubed
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs stewing beef or lamb
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/4 t cumin seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  •  3 fresh hot green chillies, minced
  • 2 dried red chillies, crushed
  • 2 t grated ginger-root
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t paprika (not hot)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c plain yoghurt
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • chopped green chillies and chopped cilantro to garnish

Cook the sliced onions in a large, deep pot (preferably enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat until browned, about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the beef or lamb with the garam masala and 3/4 t salt. Wash and cut potatoes. Mix yoghurt with ginger, garlic, red and green chillies, paprika and salt. Very lightly crush cardamom pods, remove seeds and discard the husks.

Remove onions from pot draining out oil as you do so. Remove all but 4 T of oil from pot and set aside. Sauté meat on medium-high until well browned in 2-3 batches depending on size of your pot, adding in some of the reserved oil between batches if needed. During the last batch add in the curry leaves and during the last 2 minutes the cumin and cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks. Add all the meat back to the pot along with the onions and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in the yoghurt mixture and cook for a few minutes until the garlic and ginger are just cooked and the oil separates out from the yoghurt mixture.

Add the water and scrape up any fond that has developed on the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is barely tender but not overdone, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add in potatoes and simmer another 20 minutes with the lid off until potatoes are cook through and the sauce has reduced and thickened up. Adjust with salt and add more water if sauce is too thick.

Serve with hot basmati rice, naan, and fresh chopped green chillies and cilantro.