I’ve always been a big fan of making pizza for my family. If I could have it my way, I would probably eat pizza on a daily basis. I love it that much. The great thing about pizza is you can make it your own.…
Month: January 2015
Comfort food season is still in full effect here in chilly Wisconsin. Who am I kidding, it seems as though comfort food is always in full effect in my house! Recently as I was rummaging through my freezer, I happened to see a rump roast, and I decided to set it out for the following meal. My kids have yet to get into the whole idea of beef stew, or a pot roast if you will. I have no idea why as I consider that meal totally comforting, however you make it. With that said, and with the notion that my kids were not going to be all that interested in it, I decided to take a spin on a beef stew, and use some Asian style flavors that just elevated this beef stew to a whole other level.
The ingredients in this recipe are simple. Basically beef, carrots, onion, garlic, and an Asian punch of fish sauce. It’s incredible.
Let’s get started.
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 2 1/2 lbs of beef rump roast, cut into large cubes
- 2 whole yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 whole carrots, trimmed, cut into large chunks
- 4 clove of garlic, minced
- 5 pieces of star anise
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of good quality fish sauce, I use Red Boat
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 4 cups unsalted beef stock
- 5 whole russet potatoes, cubed, and cooked
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup of milk
- salt, to taste
Start by getting a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, on medium heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come up to temperature.
Season the beef with salt and cracked black pepper, then add the beef to the pot, being careful not to crowd the beef. Work in batches if you have to. Brown and caramelize each side of the beef cubes. Once all of the beef is browned, add in the onions, and give a good stir. The onions will release some moisture which will allow you to scrape any of the fond from the bottom of the pot.
Once the onions have sweated down a bit, and are translucent, toss in the garlic, star anise, chili flakes, and cinnamon. Give that a good stir and cook for a few minutes to release the awesome aroma. Seriously, take in that aroma.
Next add in the brown sugar, and give this a good stir. It should dissolve rather quickly. Next, add in the fish sauce, and again another stir. This is when my kids had asked ‘What’s that smell?!’. They should be accustomed to that smell by now, trust me.
Ok, now it is time to add in the beef stock. Pour it in, stir, and let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours.
During this time, make the mashed potatoes. To a another pot, add cold water. Peel your potatoes, cut them into cubes, and place them in the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes, returning them back to the pot, and cook them again on medium-low heat to remove any excess water. Then you can either mash them in the pot, or run them through a ricer. Regardless, once they are mashed, add the butter, milk, and season with salt. Taste, and season or adjust to your liking. Set them aside until you are ready to use them.
After about 1 hour of cooking the beef stew, add in the carrots, and give another stir. Taste the broth and season with any salt and pepper at that time. It should be sweet, aromatic, and Asian tasting if you will.
When the beef is about fall apart tender, and the carrots are tender, it is then time to serve.
To a plate, spread out some of the mashed potatoes, then ladle on the Asian style beef stew. Make sure you get plenty of carrots and beef, and pick out any of the star anise and cinnamon as you will not want yourself, or others to eat those!
This might look like a standard style beef stew, but trust me, it is way more than that. The flavor profile is similar, may in aromatics, of that of Vietnamese pho, but in the comfort of a beef stew. Trust me on this one. It is pretty darn delicious. Did my kids eat it? Nope. I will say however that once they do get ‘courageous’ and step out of their own comfort zones, I know they will fall in love with any type of beef stew. I hope you enjoy!
Nearly once a year I always make split pea soup. I’m probably the biggest fan of it in my household, and I’m fine with that. There is something special about this soup, and it may come from the smokiness of the ham, but ultimately it is not only satisfying as it is truly comforting. So this past Christmas, my mother-in-law offered me the ham bone as she typically always does, and I never decline. I’m a fan of the ham bone as well, and I know exactly what I am going to do with that ham bone every year, and that is to make a split pea soup! This time around however, I decided to change things up a bit, and add a few additional items to the soup and turn it into a Cajun style split pea soup. I’m glad I did, because this just elevated the wonderful flavors.
Lets get started.
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 4 whole carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
- 3 whole onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 ham bone, with ham to spare
- 1/2 pound of split peas, washed and reviewed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 whole links of Andouille sausage, sliced into chunks
- salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 6 whole shrimp, deveined, peeled
Start by adding your stock and hambone to a soup pot. Make sure you are able to have enough stock to submerge the ham bone, if not, add some water. Toss in 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, and two onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 4 hours. I actually started mine in the evening and just let it cook down overnight.
After the four hours, or overnight cook, remove the ham bone and any of the large pieces of ham that might have fallen off, and set to the side. Strain the rest, reserving all of the stock. I mash every little bit ensuring that I get all of those flavors into the stock. I love this part because it allows me to use my chinois strainer!
Next, lets get the soup started.
Clean your soup pot, then return it back to the stove. On medium heat, add the stock back to the pot, and add in your split peas, the remaining carrots, celery, and onion. Season with a bit of salt, and cracked black pepper. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook.
To a skillet, add the oil, and bring to a medium heat. Toss in the garlic and Andouille sausage. Cook the sausage until it gets some nice color on it.
Shred any remaining ham, and add that to the stock mixture. Add in the bell peppers to the stock as well.
Once the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and sausage mixture to the stock. Give a good stir, and continue to cook.
Cook for about 1 hour, then taste your peas. You want them tender, but not mushy.
Once the peas are tender, add in the cleaned shrimp and cook until they are just opaque.
Now you are ready to serve!
Get out your bowls and ladle in the Cajun style split pea soup, making sure you get a bit of everything.
The end result is awesome. It’s everything you love about a split pea and ham soup, but you get the great additions of sausage, shrimp, and a bit of heat. I’m hoping my mother-in-law keeps on the tradition of providing me that ham bone because I know this is going to be my go to split pea soup from here on out! I hope you enjoy!