Slow Cooker Bordelaise Beef

After two weeks of activities after work and traveling, Merideth and I were not in the mood to get complicated with our dinners this week. Based off a classic French sauce recipe, this roast felt fancy (even though it takes only about 10 minutes of prep!)

Ingredients

  • 2-3lbs chuck roast
  • 3tbs butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed and stemmed
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2tbs chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat butter over medium high heat and sear and sear chuck roast, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Put roast into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper as desired
  2. Simmer shallots in butter until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add shallots, mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and thyme to slow cooker. Pour over wine and beef broth.
  4. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours and serve with mushrooms.

Wine Pairing: My favorite thing about cooking with wine is that, after preparing the recipe, you’re left with an open bottle! Don’t be wasteful – enjoy the roast with the red wine from your recipe; in my case, I used a cabernet sauvignon from France.

Bulgogi Sub with Gochujang Mayonnaise

With the Winter Games happening earlier this year, Amanda and I wanted to celebrate those South Korean flavors much like we did with the Summer Games in Brazil. There’s nothing quite like taking a huge bite of delicious food from the comfort of your couch while watching athletes in their physical prime work their hardest for gold. I know bulgogi is one of the best known foods from Korea, but to me it does have a special place in my heart.

Back when my preferences were only for chicken nuggets and french fries, my parents had a favorite sandwich place near our house that specialized in bulgogi sub sandwiches. They would often treat themselves to a foot-long and the aromas would permeate the air in the car as they brought them back home, often lingering for days. While anything with such a name I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole at the time, I remember loving that smell. Years later when my eyes were opened to the deliciousness of bulgogi, I still lament that I never had the chance to try that sub (and duh, anything that smells that great should taste so amazing). With this theming, this seemed like the perfect chance to create my version! I’ve come a long way since then; I mean I even added vegetables voluntarily! The fresh crunch of the veggies with the bold flavors of the mayonnaise and bulgogi really make this sandwich a memorable treat and I encourage you to try your own, even though the games are long over now.

Bulgogi Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye*
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 onion, diced (4 green onions also work)
  • Black pepper

*If you can’t find thinly sliced beef, you can pop your preferred cut into the freezer for 30 minutes and then slice as thinly as you can manage. 

Bulgogi Instructions:

  1. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Allow to marinate for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
  2. When you are ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and remove the beef from the marinade. Sear the beef in batched so as not to overcrowd the pan, until the beef is cooked through. At this point, bulgogi can be enjoyed over rice, as part of another dish or in the sandwich we’re making here.

Mayonnaise* Ingredients :

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp gochujujang
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Up to 2 tbsp water

Mayonnaise Instructions:

  1. Using a food processor, combine the lemon juice, egg yolk, gochujang and grapeseed oil. Process on low until you have a thick consistency and the color has lightened.
  2. With the processor on low (you can also use a whisk), drizzle the olive oil in slowly to create an emulsion. This might take a few minutes. Once the oil is combined, the color has lightened further and you have a mayonnaise consistency you are ready for use. Add in the water to achieve your desired consistency, and add salt to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so and then you can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

*If the idea of raw eggs isn’t your game, you can always try mixing gochujang with some store-bought mayo, proportions to your taste.

Assembly Ingredients:

  • Baguette or bread of your choice, although I’d recommend a sturdy one.
  • Shredded carrots (I used slices made with a peeler but the pre-shredded ones could work as well)
  • Lettuce
  • Mild onions, or you could try a quick pickled onion recipe
  • Thinly sliced cucumber

Assembly:

  1. I like to spread a layer of the mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bread, topped with the lettuce to keep it in place. Then add your carrots, cucumber, beef and finally onions. Top with more mayonnaise if desired, add your top half of bread, and enjoy!

Wine Pairing: I think a Pinot Noir would go well with the beef as well as stand up to the spicy mayo. Enjoy!

Bulgogi pic 2

Ricotta Nutella Dessert Cups

Both Amanda and I had a rough go of our most recent round of recipes. We were feeling something sweet and indulgent, but our ambitious recipe ideas fell a bit short this time. While I still have faith that our original visions will someday come to fruition, you know what they say: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Scientific accuracy of that phrase aside, these dessert cups were a happy accident when I was forced to improvise. Between having used up many of my ingredients on a failed casing for my nutella ricotta, I made this press in crust with the few essentials I still had on hand. The result was a savory complement to the sweetness of the chocolate hazlenut flavors in the filling.

At the end of the day, Amanda and I wanted to put our baking urges to good use and make something delicious. These little dessert cups, while not my original plan, did just that. They would be excellent for parties since they are bite sized, and would be sure to catch the attention of your guests (plus they can be assembled in advance–you know how I love that). However, you don’t need to wait for a party to enjoy this yummy treat.

Crust Cup Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Water if needed
  • A few drops of optional red food coloring

Ricotta Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of hazelnut chocolate spread, like Nutella
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish if desired

Instructions:

Make the Filling:

  1. If your ricotta cheese looks a little runny, it may be helpful to set the cheese over a strainer lined with cheesecloth, sitting on top of a bowl for drainage. Wrap the cheese in any leftover cheesecloth falling over the sides of the strainer and put something heavy on top. Allow to rest for 6 hours up to overnight in the fridge and allow it to drain.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  3. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, chocolate spread, powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Carefully fold in the whipped cream and chill the filling for at least 2 hours or until you are ready to use. Can be made at least 2 days in advance (but be careful because you might eat it all before it makes it to assembly).

Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Whisk together the flour and the salt and make a well in the middle. Drizzle in the oil and combine with a fork until a dough forms. If it looks dry, add water, one tsp at a time until it comes together.  If you wanted to use the red food coloring, you can add it with the oil before adding to the flour to help it distribute evenly or you can add at the end to make a marbly pattern like mine pictured.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 balls in and press each one into a muffin tin so that it lines the bottoms and sides, like a cup.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is dry. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before popping out of the muffin tins.
  5. If the top edges look a little rough, a microplane can help file off any craggly bits if that is something that might bother you, but otherwise you are ready to fill once the crust cups are fully cooled.

Assembly:

  1. Add the chocolate filling to a piping bag or plastic zip top bag with a bottom corner snipped off and pipe in to your cups.
  2. Top with shaved chocolate if desired or maybe even some chopped strawberry if you want to get fancy and enjoy! Keep chilled if not eating right away.

Cannoli Main

 

Wine Pairing: Maybe it’s because I made these around Valentines day (hence the red food dye), but I’m feeling a dryish Rose with this one. Something Maybe with berry undertones, but more on the tart side, that chocolate spread is sweet!