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Cassoulet

Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Cassoulet

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
  • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
  • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.
  • Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.
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    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Shredded Beef Machaca // Karista's Kitchen

    If I’m being totally honest, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  Unless its pot roast, roasted or fried chicken and maybe my Tuscan lasagna; which is always better the second day.  Often, a recipe can lose some of the fresh flavor and texture during the process of re-heating and then I promptly lose interest.  I sound like a food snob.  I promise I’m not a food snob, just a little picky about the flavor and texture of my food.

    The beauty of leftover pot roast are the many ways it can be re-invented into another recipe.  I adore pot roast sandwiches smothered with caramelized onions and Havarti cheese, a simple pot roast soup with pearled barley and porcini mushrooms and of course this gorgeous shredded beef machaca.

    You can certainly prepare a pot roast specifically for this recipe, but it tastes just as delicious with leftovers.

    As a child, this dish was a staple in our home.  Although we call it machaca, it’s not a traditional Mexican machaca. Mexican machaca is actually a dried, marinated beef (much like our beef jerky).  However, because we include scrambled eggs in the shredded beef, it was dubbed “machaca” in my house. Sort of a riff on the very popular machaca con huevos, a Mexican beef and egg scramble.

    Shredded beef machaca was served as a celebration meal, a meal for dinner guests and on occasion a Sunday supper.  My parents used to make it into burritos with the usual assortment of delicious Mexican condiments.  I serve this machaca with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, cotija cheese, avocado slices, red chili sauce or my brothers delicious salsa recipe.

    When I prepare this for my family I like to make dinner a casual event and place the shredded beef machaca and layering ingredients in the center of the table. Then everyone can assemble their own taco or burrito with their favorite condiments.

    The result is loads of easy conversation, laughter, smiling faces and very happy bellies. Which always makes me happy.

    Shredded beef machaca makes a delightful meal and can be served a la carte or with salad greens, black beans and a little cerveza to top it off!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Serving Size: 6

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Ingredients

      For the pot roast (or use your favorite basic pot roast recipe)
    • 3-4lbs beef chuck roast, halved
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 bay leaf
      For the Machaca
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or high heat oil
    • 1 cup diced white onion
    • 2-3 cloves garlic
    • 1-2 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup red chile sauce or your favorite salsa
    • 2-3 large eggs, whisked
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • Dash of hot sauce, optional
    • Crumbled cotija cheese
    • Avocado slices
    • Warm corn tortillas
    • Mexican crema or sour cream
    • Fresh chopped cilantro
    • Salsa

    Instructions

    To make the pot roast
  • Pre-heat the slow cooker on low. Season both halves of the beef chuck with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the ghee over medium high heat and brown all sides of the chuck roast. Transfer the chuck roast pieces to the slow cooker and add the beef broth, bay leaf, onions and garlic. I don't add too much liquid when preparing a pot roast in my slow cooker as I want the pot roast to slowly cook in as much of it's own juices as possible. This will make for a very tasty pot roast. Adding too much liquid will cause the roast to boil which will give it a bland and chewy texture.
  • Let the pot roast cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
  • When the pot roast is done, shred the beef and set aside.
  • To prepare the Machaca
  • Heat a large skillet and add another two tablespoons of ghee or high heat oil. Sauté the diced onions until soft and slightly caramelized and then add the garlic. Sauté for one minute longer. Stir in the diced poblano peppers, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.
  • Add the shredded beef and chile sauce and toss to combine.
  • In another small pan, add a little butter to the pan and cook the eggs, scrambled style. When the eggs are done, fold them into the machaca.
  • Add a squeeze of lime and season to taste with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Serve with crumbled cotija, avocado slices, warm tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro and additional salsa.
  • Notes

    I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan rather than in the machaca directly, to keep the texture from being soggy.

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    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

     

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Cream Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

     

    When I dream about sitting down to the perfect meal, paired with the perfect wine, this Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta and a glass of Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon rings my dinner bell to the core. 

    There is something so completely indulgent about sitting down to a plate of beef short ribs.  It’s on my Sunday supper menu at least once a month during the fall and winter months and for good reason.  Typically it’s a simple meal to prepare and it pairs deliciously with creamy polenta, rice or gnocchi.  I’m a huge polenta fan, so if I’m cooking, the side dish is creamy polenta. 🙂 Although this recipe is exquisite in flavor as well as presentation, it can be served as fancy or as casually as you like.

    I created this dish with Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine because I felt the flavors could definitely live up to the bold notes of the gorgeous Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (and I adore Five Spice Powder). “The 2013 vintage will prove to be one of the most outstanding in Napa history, and this wine is one of the most artful expressions of the vintage. 96% Cabernet, 100% new French oak for 24 months. An absolute classic in the making”.

    Five Spice Braised Beef Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

    I am completely in love with this wine.  Yes, they sent me a bottle to “taste test” for this recipe, and I was oh so happy to do that taste testing. Pure heaven. Ranger Craig and I sipped and savored every last drop of this wine.  So impressive and unlike any Cabernet Sauvignon my palate has ever had the pleasure of tasting. If you’re looking for that special gift for that special someone in your life or you want to add to your fabulous wine collection, this is the wine to purchase.

    I hope your holidays have been joyous!  I wish you loads of love, delicious food and everything warm and cozy in life.

    Karista

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

    Serving Size: 4

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

    Ingredients

    • 8-10 beef short ribs (I serve 2-3 short ribs per person)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • ¼ cup of corn starch
    • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 1 medium carrot, diced
    • 1 rib celery, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
    • 2 small bay leaves
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 bottle of dry red wine
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • Chopped fresh cilantro or microgreens for garnish
      For the Creamy Polenta
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • ½ -1 cup quick cook polenta (or according to package directions)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and then dust them with the corn starch. Place a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. When the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, brown the short ribs. You will need to do this in batches as placing too many short ribs into the pot at once will lower the temperature on the bottom of the pot and the short ribs won’t brown.
  • Transfer the browned short ribs to a platter and then add additional ghee/oil if needed to the pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are wilted. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  • Stir in the Chinese Five Spice Powder, bay leaves, tomato paste and bottle of wine, about 4 cups of wine. Add the browned short ribs back to the pot and liquid and then add enough beef broth to cover the short ribs completely.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and place it into the oven and braise for about 2 hours. After 2 hours check the beef to see if it is fork tender. If not, place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes and then check again.
  • Once the short ribs are done, remove them from the pot and strain the liquid. Put the liquid into the pot and then add the short ribs back into the liquid. Keep the short ribs warm over low heat while you prepare the polenta.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the three cups of milk and two tablespoons butter, stirring occasionally until the milk comes to a boil. Then add the ½- 1 cup of quick cook polenta, depending on the package instructions. Cook the polenta for 3-5 minutes and then take it off the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, pour the polenta onto a platter and place the short ribs over the polenta and then drizzle the sauce over the short ribs, or serve the sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or micro greens.
  • Notes

    Braised beef short ribs are never short on flavor and remain one of the most sumptuous beef dishes one could serve. This recipe uses a fragrant Chinese Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine which lives up to the bold notes of this gorgeous cabernet sauvignon. The braised beef ribs are served over creamy polenta which balances flavor and texture for a lush and enticing meal.

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    Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

    Deliciously simple Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy // Karista's Kitchen

     

    There’s nothing that says simple delicious goodness like an Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy.

    Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy was a regular dish on our family table and it was truly loved by my bright-eyed, character of a grandfather. Grandpa was born in the Southwest in 1901 and he loved to tell tall tales of how he’d been a cowboy in his younger days. Of course, grandpa had never been a cowboy, however, when he was very young, his family drove a covered meat wagon through Arizona and Southern California. My grandfather and his family hunted the wild game and then cleaned, packaged and sold it from their covered wagon.

    My grandfather was a meat and veggie kind of guy and nothing made him happier than my grandmother’s pan-fried ground beef patties with beef broth gravy. Grandma would mix ground beef with onion, garlic and herbs and then form patties to pan fry and then serve them with a simple pan gravy. Sitting on the table alongside those ground beef patties were several large bowls of assorted vegetables. Green beans with bacon, creamed corn, honeyed carrots and always lima beans. When the food was done, the table was set and everyone was seated, my grandfather, with a knowing smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, would give thanks for his delicious “steak and gravy”.

    Today I’ve re-created that steak and gravy dinner with my version of an old-fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy. 

    I decided the creamed corn needed a little revision so it became a decadent Corn Gratin and who am I to disturb good ole Southern green beans and bacon so I left those just as grandma made them.  The honeyed carrots get a splash of spice and brown butter and the lima beans typically don’t make it to the table.  Sadly, I’m not a fan. Of course, now that we’re all grown-ups, there is nothing like following up grandpa’s cowboy meal with a “yippee-yo-ki-yay” Cowboy Bourbon Sour.

    So, giddy on up to the table and chow down on this delicious meal and celebrate a season of food, flavor and of course, twinkly-eyed grandfathers. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

    Serving Size: 4

    Ingredients

      Salisbury Steak
    • 1lb ground beef 
    • ½ cup diced yellow onion
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs, or your favorite brand of bread crumbs (skip the bread crumbs for wheat free or use GF bread crumbs)
    • ¼ cup warm milk
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 egg, lightly whisked
    • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon oil, beef tallow or ghee
      Beef Broth Gravy
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 cup organic beef broth
    • Dash of red wine (optional)
    • ½ cup sliced sautéed mushrooms (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Combine the bread crumbs and warm milk.  If you are preparing a wheat free meal, skip this step.
  • Mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, bread crumb mixture, Worcestershire, egg, fresh Italian parsley, salt and pepper. 
  • Form the ground beef mixture into 4-6 round patties, pressing slightly thinner in the center of each patty for even plumping during cooking. 
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Place the patties in the skillet and pan fry on each side until the beef is done to your preference. 
  • Transfer the patties to a platter.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the skillet.  Just as the butter melts whisk in the tablespoon of flour. 
  • Add the beef broth and a dash of red wine if desired.  I like about ¼ cup red wine.  Continue to whisk the gravy, pulling up all the yummy brown bits (called fond) off the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the gravy has thickened slightly, taste for salt and pepper.  If using mushrooms, add them to the sauce.  If the gravy is too thick add additional beef broth until it’s the desired consistency. For more sauce, the recipe is easily doubled. 
  • Pour the gravy over the patties and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve with corn gratin, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green salad, or roasted veggies.
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    Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

    Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce

    Oh the love and compliments I received when I served this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca. I felt like a James Beard Award winning chef after my family finished thoroughly praising me and my saltimbocca.  And such praise doesn’t always happen. Nope, not at my house.

    I have to admit, my palate was dancing with complete bliss after one bite of this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce.  I smiled to myself and felt utterly vindicated as dinner the night before was a total disaster.  My recipe testing didn’t go as planned. Which is what happens on occasion and which is why we call it recipe “testing” – as I so humbly told my family while they were making funny faces and critiquing my meal.  Even chef’s have dinner disasters.

    Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce // Karista's Kitchen

    Typically prepared with veal, this saltimbocca is just as decadent when prepared with the most tender cut of beef – the tenderloin.  Medallions of tenderloin are pounded thin, layered with fresh sage leaves and pancetta, quickly pan seared and then finished with a sensuous red wine and butter pan sauce.

    What made this gorgeous Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca even more perfect was the wine I paired with it – 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon.  This sumptuous wine is from one of the most celebrated vintages in the history of the Napa Valley.  “It displays a level of balance, elegance, structure and ageability”.  Silky and lush, the 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon pairs elegantly with the saltimbocca, allowing the uncomplicated and bright flavors of the dish to shine while complimenting the beauty of the wine.

    Although this exquisite dish might seem fancy, it’s perfectly simple to prepare.  I love to serve this with a seasonal green and vegetable salad with a light vinaigrette such as a lemon Dijon or balsamic or roasted zucchini, broccoli or braised bitter greens.  If you’re looking for a little more substance to add to the meal, good old-fashioned mashed potatoes pair nicely. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    *Although I’ve been a huge fan of Yao Ming Family Wines for a while now, I was fortunately gifted with a bottle for this recipe.

    Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

    Ingredients

    • 2lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 8-10 medallions
    • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
    • 8-10 slices pancetta
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup red wine (any wine that you would drink)
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
    • Toothpicks

    Instructions

  • On parchment paper or a cutting board, pound out each medallion to about ½ inch thick. Season each medallion with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Place a sage leaf on each medallion and then layer with a slice of pancetta. You can use a toothpick to secure the sage and pancetta to the beef or you can try placing them in the pan completely assembled.
  • In a large skillet, add the two tablespoons of ghee or olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, add the medallions to the pan, pancetta side down. You may need to pan sear in batches so that you don’t over crowd your skillet.
  • Cook each medallion for about 2 minutes on each side or until the beef is done to your liking. Transfer the beef to a platter when done. Cover lightly with a piece of foil to keep warm.
  • When all the beef has been cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the red wine, scraping all the fond (brown bits) off the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time and bring the sauce to a lively simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it’s been reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the pan sauce on the bottom of a serving dish and then place the Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca over the pan sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve with Roasted fingerling potatoes or mashed potatoes and roasted or steamed seasonal vegetable.
  • Notes

    The fragrant and earthy flavors in this gorgeous beef dish pair exquisitely with the Mao Ying 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Sip, savor and enjoy.

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    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage from Karista's Kitchen

    I’m not kidding when I tell you this is the best corned beef and cabbage recipe.  I believe I’ve prepared corned beef and cabbage half a dozen different ways and this, by far, is the best method.

    I know you’ll be surprised… but I don’t use Guinness.  GAH! I know. It’s sad. But the problem with using a stout beer like Guinness or a dark porter is that it can make the entire recipe taste bitter.  I’ve used Guinness Draught instead and although it’s tasty, still a bit too much bitterness for me.  If you love a traditional corned beef and cabbage, but not the bitterness of strong beer, try using an IPA.

    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage prepared with Pacific Northwest IPA from Karista's Kitchen

    Beer is an excellent braising liquid for beef or pork. Not only does it keep the meat moist while cooking, it imparts a hint of flavor to the meat, complimenting the overall dish.  

    However, the type of beer is key.  Most IPA (India Pale Ale) Beer is flavorful but some IPA’s can be on the bitter side so I’d recommend an IPA with a lower IBU on the bitterness scale.

    I previously used a Ninkasi Total Domination IPA and one of my favorite IPA’s to use for this dish is, Deschutes Brewery Fresh Squeezed IPA – both giving subtle hints of complimentary flavor but not overwhelming the dish with bitterness or the heavy taste of beer.

    Another key is to rinse, dry and brown your corned beef before cooking.  The browning process deepens flavor, especially when slow braising a large piece of meat in liquid.  I like my cabbage slightly tender but not completely wilted, so I throw it in at the last-minute and only simmer just until tender but not falling apart.

    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage using a Pacific Northwest IPA for excellent and balanced flavor. From Karista'sKitchen.com

    Sometimes I toss fingerlings or small new potatoes into the pot and sometimes I serve the corned beef and cabbage with mashed potatoes; depending on how I’m feeling at the moment (or what I might have on hand in the pantry).

    Despite tradition, I never add carrots to the pot.  This is totally my personal food quirk (I have several unfortunately) but carrots contain a lot of sugar and when added to soups, stews or braised meat recipes, they add a slight sweetness to the dish.  For me, that sweetness doesn’t always compliment the other ingredients and often changes the intended flavor profile.  Instead, I roast the carrots and add them as a side dish to the corned beef and cabbage.  It adds a burst of color and a little caramelized sweetness to the meal, but not to the meat.

    A traditional corned beef and cabbage wouldn’t be complete without a little Irish Soda Bread to compliment the dish and soak up all the delicious juices.  I make a traditional Irish Soda Bread with currants but I’m really loving this Mini Irish Soda Bread from my friend Caroline over at Taste, Love and Nourish.  She’s also got a Cranberry Orange Soda Bread and a Vegan Cherry Almond Soda Bread.  All so fantastic for your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration!

    If you decide to make this recipe, keep me posted! Let me know how you like it. 🙂  Or if you have a question, feel free to send me an email.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Serving Size: 6

    The Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Ingredients

    • 3 ½ - 4lbs good quality, flat cut corned beef
    • 1 (12ounce) bottle of IPA Beer (preferably one with a lower IBU)
    • 1 yellow onion, quartered
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 head green cabbage, quartered
    • 1-1½ lbs. baby red potatoes, fingerlings or small new potatoes, washed
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Rinse the corned beef with cold water and then pat dry.
  • Heat a Dutch Oven or heavy pot over high heat and add a splash of oil. When the oil is hot brown the corned beef on both sides.
  • Add the beer, onions, garlic, spices and pepper to the pot and then add enough water to cover all the ingredients.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, give it a stir to combine the spices with the liquid and then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage wedges and small potatoes and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cabbage is crisp tender.
  • Transfer the meat and veggies to a platter and keep warm. Place the Dutch Oven or heavy pot over high heat and reduce the cooking liquid until you have about 2-3 cups left in the pot.
  • Serve the corned beef, cabbage and potatoes with the sauce, sour cream and a side of roasted carrots. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.
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    Winter Beef & Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream & Chive Biscuits


    Winter Beef and Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits // Karista's Kitchen

    There is something so beautiful and restorative about a braised beef dish that is topped with fluffy savory biscuits.  Each spoonful filled with a little biscuit, a little beef and a little sauce – making each bite a delicious and comforting memory.

    Rather than stew meat, I use flank steak in this gorgeous dish.  Although I typically use flank steak for grilling, a well marbled flank steak makes a nice alternative to stew meat.  It’s a flavorful cut of beef and becomes quite tender when braised or slow cooked.  Braising and slow cooking are basically the same, however, a few minor adjustments usually need to be made when interchanging these methods of cooking.  Click HERE for an excellent conversion guide for Dutch oven and Slow Cooker cooking methods.

    Winter Beef and Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits

    Flank steak also pairs deliciously with winter root vegetables and adding porcini mushrooms into the dish deepens the flavors and the sauce.  The crowning glory of this dish?  Those sour cream and chive biscuits

    The finished dish makes the most gorgeous and delightful comfort food.  This is a meal to be enjoyed family style with big bowls and spoons and maybe a little butter for those biscuits.  Winter never tasted so good.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Winter Beef & Vegetable Cobbler with Sour Cream & Chive Biscuits

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs flank steak, one inch cubed
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 1/4 cup flour for dusting
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 3 gloves garlic, minced
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 1 parsnip, diced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • !For the Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits
    • 1 cup self rising flour, 1/4 cup for rolling out
    • 6 tablespoons very cold butter, diced
    • 8 ounce sour cream
    • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

    Instructions

  • Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the one cup of boiling water. Let the mushrooms sit for about 15 minutes. Once they are soft, strain them from the water and then finely dice the mushrooms. Set aside.
  • Season the steak cubes with salt and pepper and then dust with the 1/4 cup flour, tossing to combine. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot add some of the beef cubes. You will need to cook the beef in batches. If you load up the bottom of the pot with too much beef, it will bring down the temperature of the oil and the pot and the beef cubes won’t brown. Transfer the browned beef to a platter and reserve.
  • Next, in the same pot, turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, carrots, parsnips and fresh herbs, adding a little more oil if needed. Sauté the vegetables until slightly tender (the onions will be the most tender), about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic the last few minutes of cooking. This is so the garlic doesn’t brown. Brown garlic tastes bitter and we don’t want to risk your lovely cobbler tasting bitter.
  • Return the beef with juices to the pot and then stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms, mustard, red wine and beef broth. Bring the stew to a lively simmer then turn down the heat to low and let the stew cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid feels a little saucy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While the stew is simmering, prepare the biscuits.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Transfer the beef and vegetable stew to an 8×11 or 9×13 baking dish. I prefer an 8×11 baking dish because it’s smaller and allows the stew to be deeper in the pan, which makes for fantastic cobbler. Top the beef and vegetable stew with the biscuits and brush each biscuit with butter.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are nicely browned on top. You want a rich color on the biscuits to be sure they are done. Take the cobbler out of the oven and let it stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • For the Biscuits
  • Add the flour and diced butter to a large bowl and work in the butter using a pastry cutter or your hands. You should see pea sized crumbs. Then mix in the sour cream and chives until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the dough onto a well floured surface and roll out to your desired thickness. Cut into biscuits with a 2″ biscuit cutter, dipping in flour in between cutting biscuits. Place the biscuits on the beef and vegetable stew and brush each biscuit with melted butter. Continue with recipe above.
  • If you’d like to make these biscuits without the stew, place the biscuits on a lined baking sheet, brush with butter and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are a deep golden brown. Bring them out of the oven and serve warm
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    Beef Karista's Kitchen VRAI Magazine

    Perfect Prime Rib Roast for VRAI Magazine

    Roasting the perfect prime rib with Au Jus Gravy and Horseradish Sauce // Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    Every holiday season I ask my family the same question… “what do you want for Christmas dinner”?   And every year I get the same answer.  “Prime Rib!”   I can’t blame them.  Prime Rib is such a grand cut of beef – so exquisite in flavor and texture.

    Perfect Prime Rib Roast tutorial from Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    When VRAI Magazine asked me for a Holiday recipe, this was the first thing that came to mind.  If you ever wanted to prepare prime rib but felt too intimidated, this recipe is for you.  Tips, techniques and a simple recipe for preparing the perfect prime rib.

    Perfect Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus Gravy and Horseradish Sauce // Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    Along with this luscious prime rib recipe, I’ve included a quick Beef Broth Gravy and Homemade Horseradish Sauce.  You will also find the loveliest selection of holiday recipes from our VRAI Magazine Contributors as well as travel, lifestyle, fashion and DIY articles.

    So head on over to VRAI Magazine and treat yourself to a few holiday moments browsing and reading our Holiday issue!

    Wishing you a most magical and delicious holiday season!

    Karista

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry)

    Lomo Saltado Peruvian Beef Stir Fry with Sweet Potato Fries

    It’s funny how I stumble across new recipes I’ve never heard about, tasted or seen like this Peruvian Beef Stir Fry called Lomo Saltado. 

    Sometimes I feel I must have my head buried in the traditional culinary sands so deeply,  I’ve missed some intriguing recipes.  However, all is not lost…  I have friends to thank for sharing the culinary light.

    I first heard about Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian Beef Stir fry, from my friend Cristina.  She visits Florida often and tasted this dish the last time she visited.  After she described the recipe, I was definitely intrigued.  A Beef Stir Fry that includes French fries.  Huh.

    So I did some research and it seems those who write about Lomo Saltado are passionate about one thing. Those fries. Although it seems a little odd,  it works. 

    The remaining ingredients vary according to author and culinary background.  Beef is the main ingredient and even the cut of beef varies from recipe to recipe.  I also found this dish served with yellow rice or steamed rice.

    Lomo Saltado Peruvian Beef Stir Fry with Sweet Potato Fries // Karista's Kitchen

    I decided to keep things simple and adapt several recipes into one – making this beef stir fry with a twist of my own.

    Some of the recipes I found use only the beef, onion, hot pepper and French fries.  A few add in a green bell pepper or hot pepper and one recipe included pickled jalapenos.  They all sound delicious but I decided to make a one dish meal and include more veggies.  Along with substituting the French fries for sweet potato fries.  But please feel free to keep the French fries.  I just happen to love sweet potato fries and I thought the sweetness of the fries would nicely balance the salty flavors of the sauce.

    In the recipe I’ve given several substitutions.  Feel free to experiment and personalize your Peruvian Beef Stir Fry.  I’d love to know how you mix it up, so keep me posted!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry)

    Serving Size: 4

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb Flat iron or skirt steak cut into ½ inch strips
    • Pinch of ground cumin
    • Pinch of ground coriander (optional)
    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced for stir fry (optional)
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced for stir fry (optional)
    • 1 poblano pepper, sliced for stir fry (seeds can be hot so it’s up to you if you include them) or use a jalapeno or hot yellow pepper, diced
    • 2-4 tablespoons oil
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced or minced
    • Sweet potato fries, cooked according to package directions (you can also use traditional potato fries)
    • Handful of fresh coarsely chopped cilantro (I think sliced green onions would be a good substitute)
    • Salt and pepper
    • Dash of hot sauce if needed (I used Sriracha)

    Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Reserve.
  • In a large skillet or large wok, heat two tablespoons oil over high heat. Lightly season the beef with black pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander. When the oil is hot brown the meat and then transfer it to a plate.
  • When all the meat has been browned, add a little more oil to the skillet and then sauté the veggies until lightly wilted or crisp tender. Adjust heat as needed.
  • Stir in the garlic the last 30 seconds of cooking. Add the beef back in to the skillet with the veggies and then stir in the sauce. Let the sauce coat the beef and veggies and then remove from the heat.
  • Season with salt and a dash of hot sauce if needed.
  • Place the fries on a platter, top with the beef and veggie stir fry and garnish with the fresh cilantro. Serve with hot sauce if desired.
  • Notes

    Recipe adapted from multiple sources

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    Beef Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

    Grilled Rib-Eye with Tomato & Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

    Grilled Rib-Eye With Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette Karista's Kitchen

    We’ve just launched the 4th fabulous issue of VRAI Magazine and I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting and new online magazine!  Filled with food, travel, DIY, Gardening and more.

    VRAI Magazine is made up of real bloggers, with varying backgrounds, expertise and unique perspectives, who are passionate about sharing stories. In these stories, you’ll also find wonderful ideas, inspirations and information for everyday living, as well as topics of interest that are designed to spark genuine conversations. “Life is filled with stories both big and small. They can be found in big events and milestones throughout life or even in the most mundane acts of each day — there is always a story worth telling.  Through VRAI Magazine, we hope to capture and share some of them with you.”

    In this issue of VRAI Magazine I talk GRILLING!  Here’s a sneak peek:

    I get positively giddy this time of year.  With the longer days and warmer temperatures, grilling once again becomes my preferred method of cooking.  Gone are the cooler days and Pacific Northwest winter weather that requires rain gear while grilling. 

    Although I enjoy most methods of cooking, there is something about grilling that feels just a bit festive, carefree and whimsical. Maybe it’s the feeling of warm summer months when life is slower and less scheduled.  Fresh produce arriving with color and intense ripened flavors just aching to be tossed into some delicious concoction to share.

    Grilling steak couldn’t be easier, but there are a few simple steps that will make your steak taste like perfection. 

    1. Quality is key –  Purchasing a quality cut of beef is key to a delicious and flavorful steak.  I prefer purchasing local beef that has been grazing in a nice open pasture and preferably grass-fed only. (I know, I sound like the television show Portlandia) Truly, fresh is best for optimum flavor.  Not only does buying local mean your steak will be fresh, you will be supporting your local economy.  If  you don’t have access to a  local beef rancher, try to purchase beef from your region.  Most local markets purchase regionally,  or ask your local butcher.

    For the Grilled Rib-eye with Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette and a Grilled Romaine Recipe head on over to VRAI Magazine…  Click Here!

    Stay Tuned – Coming up this week, I will be posting a most delicious and special pastry recipe from Italy.   Buon Appetito!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

     

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Cube Steak Parmesan

    Cube Steak Parmesan - Karista's Kitchen

    When I was a kid, a week didn’t go by that cube steak wasn’t served for dinner.  To me, those were the best dinner evenings.  I would pony up to the table salivating; just waiting for Mom to put the finishing touches on the gravy.

    My Mom rarely made the traditional chicken fried steak.  You know, the one that everyone thinks of when you say those two words… cube steak.  Nope, she was a typical working Mom and cut prep corners when she could.  Like seasoning the cube steak and then lightly dusting it in flour and then pan searing in a little oil.  When both sides were golden brown, she’d place them on a platter and serve with her pan gravy that was made from beef stock and the pan drippings.

    I have to admit, I love a good chicken fried steak and gravy – which is probably one of the most popular recipes for cube steak.   I grew up in the South and I’ve had the pleasure of dining on the most succulent and perfectly prepared chicken fried steak.  But for a busy weeknight, this quick prep cube steak method is perfect.

    Every year we purchase a quarter side of beef and with it comes a lot of cube steak.  This is one of those recipes born out of the need to use up all the cube steak in my freezer, while keeping the meal on the lighter side.  It was an instant hit at my house.  So I decided to prepare it for one of my favorite clients who had been asking for cube steak but couldn’t have the heavy chicken fried steak version.  He loved this recipe so much it became a regular on his menu.  I love it when that happens.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Cube Steak Parmesan

    Serves 4-6

    To dress up this dish, I like to serve it over fresh seasonal greens that are tossed with a little good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Makes a lovely presentation and makes me feel a little better about using my abundance of cube steak.

    For those who would like this dish wheat free, try dusting the seasoned cube steak in a little corn starch, just to crisp it a bit.

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 – 2lbs cube steak (if the steaks are large I cut them in half)

    Salt and Pepper

    Dried oregano

    All-purpose flour or corn starch for dusting

    Oil for pan searing (I like safflower or EVOO)

    2 cups of your favorite or homemade tomato sauce

    Mozzarella cheese, about 8 slices (part skim or whole milk)

    Basil leaves – about 8-10

    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Spring greens tossed with salt, pepper, a drizzle of oil and balsamic vinegar

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Season the steaks with salt and pepper and a pinch of dried oregano.  Dust the steaks in all-purpose flour or corn starch.

    Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a few tablespoons of oil.  Enough to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the cube steak on both sides and then transfer to a baking dish or lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all the cube steak has been browned.   Cube steak is usually very thin so this browning process will most likely cook the steak through. If not, it will finish cooking in the oven.

    Place a slice of cheese on each steak and then a basil leaf.  Ladle a little sauce over each steak and top with parmesan cheese.

    Place the baking dish or baking sheet in the pre-heated oven until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

    Place your prepared greens on a large platter and then place each of the steaks on the greens.  Serve with extra sauce.  Sometimes I serve this creamy polenta or gnocchi.

    *If using a baking dish you can keep the steaks in the baking dish and serve the greens on the side.

     

     

    Beef Karista's Kitchen

    Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Madeira Wine Pan Sauce

    beef tenderloin with madeira wine sauce

    When I was little, I would stand with my face pressed against the chain link fence that surrounded our yard, watching my Grandfather attempt his daily chores outside.  Grandpa was a hard worker.  Once a policeman, then a plumber and always semi-retired.

    Grass never grew under Grandpa’s feet.  He was always up to something.  Digging holes for posts so he could hang a new tire swing for the Grandkids, tinkering in his man cave with his motorcycles, somehow resisting the ache of taking a long ride through the country.

    A hearty man.  Skin made of leather from years in the sun, barely a speck of blonde hair left on a shiny brown head.  Scars and a crooked nose from numerous motorcycle accidents never deterred the sweetness of his face.  A smile that could warm the heart and the bluest eyes that twinkled brightly.

    Until the moment my Grandmother opened the front door and shouted his name.  He pretended he didn’t hear her calling.

    This always made me giggle.  I’d keep his secret.  I’d never tell Grandma where he was, although I’m sure she knew.

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    I’ve been lucky.  I’ve had, and continue to have, many good men in my life.  Uncles, Grandfather’s, Father’s, brother’s, cousins who are like my brothers, friends and of course my main man and love of my life, Ranger Craig.   Men of character and integrity, respect for the strong women in their lives, men who were, and still are, some of the best Father’s I’ve ever known.

    Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and most delicious Father’s Day!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Beef Tenderloin Medallions with a Madeira Wine Pan Sauce

    Serves 2 (can easily be doubled)

    Ingredients

    2 Beef Tenderloin approximately 5-6 ounces each

    Salt and pepper

    2 tablespoons high heat oil or clarified butter (Ghee)

    1 tablespoon chopped shallots

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 tablespoon flour

    1 cup beef stock

    ½ cup Madeira wine

    1/2 cup sliced sautéed cremini mushrooms (optional)

    1 tablespoon beef demi-glaze.  This gives a little richer flavor to the sauce and can be found at most markets, usually near the beef broth, or in the freezer section

    Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

    Directions

    Season the beef with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Once the oil is shimmering and hot, place the beef tenderloin in the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.  About 6-7 minutes per side for medium doneness. Transfer the beef to a plate.

    Turn the heat down to medium and in the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Then stir in the chopped shallots.  Once the shallots are fragrant stir in the flour.  Once the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds to one minute, whisk in the beef stock and then the Madeira wine.

    Continue whisking and cooking until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened just a bit.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Ladle a bit of sauce on a plate and place a tenderloin on top with any remaining beef juices from the beef plate.  Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve immediately.

    I love this beef dish with Potatoes Dauphinoise and Roasted Asparagus.