It’s Cold Outside, Time for Some Stew or Mac-n-Cheese

All of the recipes listed will be for 6 servings.  Bon appetit,

 Peppery Beef Stew with Butternut Squash 

Beef shoulder, cut into I1f2-inch cubes 3 lb. 

Salt I1f2 tsp. 

Cracked black pepper 2 tsp. 

All-purpose flour as needed 

Olive oil 1,4 cup 

Onion, chopped 2 cups 

Celery, chopped 1h cup -, 

Garlic cloves, crushed 3 ea. 

All-purpose flour 1,4 cup 

Dry red wine 2 cups 

Dried porcini mushrooms, 2 Tbsp.  reconstituted ,and finely chopped 

Chicken stock  1 cup 

Bay leaves 2 ea. 

Rosemary sprig, leaves only 1 ea. 

Thyme sprigs, leaves only 2 ea. 

Cippolini onions 1f2 lb. 

Pancetta 1/4 lb. 

White mushrooms, quartered 1/2 lb. 

Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and 2 cups diced 

Flat-leaf parsley, chopped   2 Tbsp, 

Method 

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

2. Place the beef cubes in a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper. Dredge (coat)  the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess. 

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, add the beef and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes, adding  another tablespoon of olive oil, if needed. Remove the meat and set it aside. 

4. Add the onion and celery and saute until almost softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce  the heat, add the garlic, and saute until aromatic.. 

5. Stir in the flour. When it is lightly colored, about 2 minutes, add the wine and stir to  combine. Add the porcini mushrooms and stir to combine. 

6. Add the stock and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Stir in the bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Return the meat  to the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer once again. Cover and slide the pot into  the oven. Cook until fork tender, about 2 hours. 

7. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the cipollini or pearl onions  to the water and cook until the tip of a paring knife slides about halfway into the  onion, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, slip  the onions out of their skins and cut off the ends. 

8. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the pancetta until it is browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and spread it out on a paper towel. Reserve the fat in the pan. 

9. Reheat the pancetta fat over high heat. Add the white mushrooms and saute until well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet using a  slotted spoon and set them aside. 

10. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Add the par-cooked cipollini or pearl onions and saute until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. 

11.When the meat starts getting tender, after about llh hours, add the butternut squash to the stew. Cover and return to the oven. Cook until the meat and squash are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes longer. Stir in the reserved mushrooms, cipollini onions, and pancetta. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

12. Serve in a heated bowl. 

Macaroni and Cheese with Baconmacaroni Pictures, Images and Photos 

Bacon, diced  1 lb.

Dried penne pasta  1 lb.

Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)  2 cups

Cheddar cheese, grated   1 lb.

Ground black pepper 

Butter as needed 

Method 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

2. Cook the bacon over low to medium heat in a saute pan until the fat is rendered and the meat is well browned, about 6 minutes. Drain and reserve the bacon. 

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the  package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve. 

4. Place the bechamel and grated cheddar into a large stainless steel bowl. Add the  cooked pasta and bacon to the bowl and season with ground black pepper to taste.  Toss the ingredients until evenly coated. 

5. Lightly butter a 2-quart oven-safe dish and pour in the macaroni mixture. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese mixture is bubbling hot and the top is well browned. 

6. Serve hot, directly from the pan. 

BECHAMEL SAUCE  

Butter  2 Tbsp 

All-purpose flour   2 Tbsp 

Milk  2 cups 

Method 

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir or whisk to combine. Cook the flour over medium heat until a pale paste forms (pale roux), about 2 minutes. 

2. Gradually whisk the milk into the roux and cook, stirring, over low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. 

3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

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