Monday, September 19, 2016

Braised Beef Brisket in Spiced Wine Marinade and Cauliflower Steak

This is a very Scandinavian take on a classic American dish, pot roast or brisket. Normally cooked in a wine or tomato based broth and served with mashed potatoes this recipe substitutes the regular wine for Glogg or Scandinavian style mulled wine and cauliflower for the potatoes. It's a low carb and simply delicious way to change up what you normally associate with this particular cooking method.

The marinade is used as the cooking liquid and then reduced to form a sweet and sticky sauce which really helps to cut through the richness of the meat and the hearty earthy flavor of the cauliflower.

Simple herbs and an absence of garlic in this dish make for a subtle and muted flavor but the hints of spice from the wine really help to give it a familiar yet different taste. The pickled vegetable garnish helps to wake up the dish and adds pepper and acid.

Beef Brisket in Spiced Wine and Cauliflower Steaks

3 cups of Glogg wine
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
3.5 to 4 pounds of beef brisket or ox cheek
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 large onions peeled and cut into quarters and then again into halves to make chunks
1 large head Cauliflower
3 tablespoons salted butter
Pickled cauliflower or chopped cornichons (small french pickles) for garnish

Place the brisket in a bag pour in wine and strip the thyme leaves off and put then in with the beef. Close the bag and rub the meat with the wine and thyme let sit overnight in the refrigerator
Next day remove and reserve the wine.
Season the beef well with salt and pepper and sear the beef on all sides making sure you get it nice and brown
Place the onions on the bottom of a baking dish and place the brisket fat cap up and pour the marinade over the beef.
Place in a roasting pot and cover tightly with foil.
Bake at 350 for 3 to 3 1/2 hours checking after two hours and if too dry add 10 oz of water
In the meantime place a whole head of cauliflower in a pot with a small amount of boiling water and steam till almost soft. Keep adding water if it boils off.
Cool and slice into 4 steaks fry the steaks in 2 Tablespoons of the butter before serving and reserve in the oven to keep warm.
Remove the beef from the roasting liquid and drain fat. Bring to a boil and then simmer till reduced by 2/3's then stir in 1 Tablespoon of butter.
Taste and season if necessary.
To serve shred the beef into hunks and serve on top of a cauliflower steak with some sauce under it on the plate as a base. if desire garnish with thin slices of picked cauliflower of chop up some cornichons and sprinkle over the top of the dish.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scallops, Porridge and Radish

This dish is a good transitional dish from the generally hot weather dishes of Summer to the cooler and more satisfying warming dishes of the fall. I also love that these ingredients while simple are surprisingly complex and delicious together.

Scallops are quite possibly my favorite seafood. They were the favorite of mine growing up and I am always seeking out ideas to prepare them in a variety of ways.

Here we use salty ham and shallots and a touch of thai chillies to enhance the earthy flavors of the rolled spelt flakes. Crunch and freshness comes through from the radish and the scallops fried in butter are a wonderful accompaniment to the overall dish.

Make this as the cooler evenings start to creep into the months ahead and you want something satisfying but still a reminder of the memories of warm Summer seaside nights. Cause who couldn't use a few of those? Right?

Scallops, Porridge and Radish

4 Tablespoons olive oil
6 oz prosciutto or speck or country ham thinly chopped
1 large shallot very finely chopped
1 thai chili very finely chopped and seeds removed
4 cups fish stock (commercially sold is fine)
1 cup rolled spelt flecks
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
12 large scallops
1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dill
4 radishes julienned and kept in cold water
Some flaky sea salt to finish the dish.

In a pot bring the fish stock to a boil and add the spelt
Cook until it becomes a wet thick porridge consistency
Stir in the vinegar and adjust the seasoning add salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the shallots till soft add the chilies and cook till you smell the heat coming off of them. Place in a bowl hold.
Pour the remaining oil in a pan and fry the ham till crisp. Drain and reserve.
Clean the pan and melt the butter and cook the scallops till fried on both sides and golden about 3-4 minutes a side. Hold warm
To assemble add the shallots and chili and ham and dill to the porridge and stir well to combine.
Place in the bottom of a serving bowl top with the scallops and garnish with the radish.
Finish with so.e flaky sea salt.
Serve right away.