Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells – Candy Coated Culinista

A striking Italian meal that is great for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 36 Jumbo shells
• 1 lbs ground beef
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup pasta sauce
• 2 cups spinach, stems removed and chopped
• ¾ cups ricotta
• 1 egg
• ½ cup grana padano
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Over high heat boil shells in batches and cook until al dente draining and setting aside. Ensure not to break or cook a few more just to be safe.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add canola oil and onion and garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add in ground beef and spices and brown.
4. Add in ¾ cups pasta sauce in ground beef mixture and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Set out two casserole dishes and pour a thin layer of pasta sauce into each casserole dish.
7. In a medium sized bowl add spinach, ricotta, egg, grana Padano, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and combine.
8. Start assembling the shells by adding ground beef first followed by ricotta mixture and place in casserole dishes.
9. Shred a little more grana padano and mozzarella cheese overtop and drizzle more pasta sauce overtop.
10. Bake for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was very time consuming more so than a lasagna; but if you make a few batches like I did it is well worth the while. I made two meat filled shells casserole dishes and one vegetarian casserole option and these tasted great all be it a touch messy to eat. The shells were the perfect amount of meat, cheese and veg and very eye catching. I would definitely make this again; just not in the next few months. Also this is not a weekday meal, unless you start as soon as you get home from work as this took me almost 2 hours from beginning to end.

Italian Stuffed Shells (Pre-Oven) – Candy Coated Culinista

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Rafanata

Rafanata – Candy Coated Culinista

I had never heard of Rafanata before and it took Jamie Oliver to get me loving this simple little appetizer or lunch dish.

Yield/Serving: 8-12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour & 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Cooks Italy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ lbs potatoes
• 2 knobs unsalted butter
• 2% milk
• 1 ¾ oz pecorino or Parmesan cheese
• 2 inches fresh horseradish, plus extra to serve
• 3 large eggs
• 3 ½ oz piece of smoked pancetta
• ¾ cup coarse stale bread crumbs

Assembly
1. Peel potatoes, chop into big even chunks, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water for a5 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain and leave to steam dry for 2 minutes and return to pan.
3. Add 1 knob of butter and a splash of milk, finely grate in cheese and peeled horseradish and crack in the eggs.
4. Mash ingredients, mix well, season, and put aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
6. Slice pancetta and place in cast-iron skillet. Over medium-high, heat let the pancetta sizzle and add bread crumbs.
7. Cook until crisp and golden and then mix into the mash.
8. Press mash into the frying pan, smoothing it out with a slight curve.
9. Fry on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan to create a nice rounded edge.
10. Loose edges with a spatula and life slightly and place the last knob of butter into the pan underneath.
11. Once melted, put a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip over, and slip the rafanata back into the pan.
12. Bake in over for 30 minutes, or until golden and hot through.
13. Place a mixture of small greens and shredded cheese on top.
14. Serve with extra horseradish finely grated overtop, to taste.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a great little appetizer for dinner guests; just serve a slice with a dollop of creamy horseradish. This recipe did take a lot longer than I expected for the simplicity of it all. The rafanata with its crispy crust and mashed centre with horseradish and pancetta inside adds a flavorful combination I have never tasted before.

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

A great middle eastern dish that is so scrumptious and satisfying you’ll have to hold yourself back from overeating.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

From At My Table

Ingredients
Kofta

• 1 pound ground lamb
• 1 peeled and coarsely grated, to give ¾ cup loosely packed
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• ¼ tsp ground allspice
• ½ tsp ground white pepper
• 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 3 tbsp finely grated parsley
• 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
• 2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Sauce
• 1 2/3 cups Greek yoghurt
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 – 2 lemon zest of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp of juice
• 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 tsp dried mint
Toppings
• Tomatoes
• Iceberg lettuce
• Faltbreads
Quick Pickled Onions
• 1 small red onion, peeled & cut into half moons
• Juice from 2 -3 limes

Assembly
Kofta

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil into a large bowl and roll into sausage shapes. Do not compact the lamb mixture once in the desired shape.
2. Slightly flatten sides and place on a baking sheet lines with cling wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Combine yoghurt, garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and dried sauce together.
4. Slice red onion into half moons and let marinate in lime juice
5. Using a large frying pan heat frying pan and cook kofta on medium-high heat for 5 of so minutes each side until cooked all the way through.
6. Serve inside faltbreads along with toppings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

It was great making koftas another way as last time I made them it was a bowl and I quite enjoyed them. I decided to serve mine with cucumber, pomegranates, and pickled onions to bulk up the meal a little. This was a lovely meal; but it was time consuming. It didn’t seem like it would take so long and since there is not times given I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The directions were a little off, so to achieve the kofta look I was accustomed to I sear all sides and cooked the remaining time in the oven. Almost 2 hours beginning to end. That’s a little long for me on a weekday after getting home for work; but then there is leftovers for the next couple of days. A trade off perhaps?

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce and Pickled Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Leftover Winter Ragu

Winter Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

Have leftover Christmas meat and looking for a way to use it up. Make this winter ragu.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 1 red onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 carrot
• 1 leek
• 1 stalk of celery
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Olive oil
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp Chianti
• 2 x 14oz can of plum tomatoes
• 14oz leftover cooked meat
• Extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Peel onion, garlic, carrot, wash and trim leek with celery and pick rosemary leaves and
2. Finely chop all adding to a large casserole dish over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bay leaf.
3. Cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
4. Now turn heat up to high and add in wine and let cook down for a few minutes and add tomatoes.
5. Fill each can half way up with water and swirl around and pour into pan.
6. Roughly chop or tear leftover meat, stir well and bring to a boil; breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
7. Reduce down to low heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, or until thick.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil to finish.
9. Serve with pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes or chunks of crusty bread for dipping.

Tips
• Use leftover meat of if Christmas was so good there were no leftovers, then use fresh ground beef.
• Serve with fried or creamy polenta, pasta or rice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I swapped out the wine for de-alcholized wine and it tasted just as rich and bold and the hue was a treat. Season with salt and pepper at the end; giving the ragu time to marry completely first.

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

It seems like once a year I get a craving or blue cheese. I love blue cheese; but I rarest ever pick it up. Well craving a wedge salad I thought it would be a nice change to make a blue cheese dressing instead of the usual Caesar dressing.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Wedge Salad

• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and cut in half
• 12 grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/3 English cucumber, sliced
• 6 chives, finely diced
• 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
• Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue Cheese Dressing
• 3/4cup blue cheese
• 3 anchovies, finely diced
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
Wedge Salad

1. Wash lettuce and cut in half and drain cut side down on a paper towel.
2. Cut grape tomatoes, English cucumber, chives and set aside.
3. In a frying pan fry bacon and then crumbled and set aside with the crumbled blue cheese.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Using a bowl, break up the blue cheese and add in the anchovy and sour cream, until well incorporated.
2. Add in the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce cut side up in a plate and add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, bacon and blue cheese.
4. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

Tips
• Salad dressing can be kept for up until 1 week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a rich, hearty and filling salad. This could work as an entrée depending on how big you lettuce head is. I enjoyed the combination of the creamy blue cheese into the dressing and the crunchy of the crispy bacon. I will be making this again as it is a wonderful starter for any guests.

Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Christmas Dinner- Salad: Spinach & Bacon Salad

Christmas Dinner: Spinach & Bacon Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

A simple salad course to keep the Christmas dinner festivities running smoothly.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 6 thick cut slices of bacon
• Olive oil
• 2 heaping tablespoons pine nuts
• 12 x ½ ” thick slices of French baguette
• 6 medium pickled onions, and 2 tbsp liquor from the jar
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Quality extra virgin olive oil
• 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
• 1 handful of seasonal salad leaves

Assembly
1. Slice bacon into lardons and put into a large frying pan over medium-high heat and fry.
2. Add pine nuts for a minute and scoop out with a slotted spoon leaving the bacon fat behind.
3. Toast the bread in the bacon fat until golden on both sides.
4. Finely slice pickled onions.
5. Using a large bowl mix the pickled onion liquor with the Dijon mustard, ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.
6. Wash and dry the spinach and add to bowl.
7. Add bacon, pine nuts and pickled onions and then toss.
8. Place the croutons (sliced baguette) in and serve.

Tips
• Add crumbled blue cheese or feta or matchstick apples or pears would work well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a tasty simple salad and with preparing a full Christmas dinner this salad packs a punch without that much effort.

Caribbean Soup … Just like my mom used to make …

Mom’s Caribbean Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My mom passed away before I really got into cooking and she was one of the cooking types who had no recipes written down. That can be and is quite hard when I am trying to recreate those dinners that are near and dear to my heart. One of those recipes is her Caribbean soup; this is one of those dishes that I loved as a kid and I detested soup back then yet I would enjoy this soup; even with the pigtails in it – it’s a Caribbean thing. I have made this recipe twice now purely from the taste, I remember from days gone by and I have made a pretty good replication. My first attempt was closer I believe, but silly me can’t find where I put the recipe or I just never jotted it done; so here I go again and this time I made sure to write it down.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Turkey pieces, 4 wings & 2 legs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Season salt, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 500 ml water
• 3 Small red skinned potatoes, halved
• Dumplings (flour, salt, water)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season turkey and place in roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes.
3. In the meantime prepare the celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and set aside.
4. Using a large stockpot place garlic an oil and cook until a golden brown.
5. Add chicken stock and water and put pot to simmer.
6. When turkey is cooked, shred turkey meat into pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add in the potatoes and increase the heat to medium and continue to let cook.
8. Using a medium sized bowl make dumplings by mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water until ingredients form into a ball.
9. Add to pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size.
10. Once dumplings are cook add the remaining vegetables and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
11. Serve.

Tips
• If you are going all out Caribbean, add pigtails and bread kind like breadfruit, eddoes, plantain, yam and soup seasoning. I totally forgot to add plantains, which I can readily find at my local grocery store; but the other ingredients would require a trip to the West Indian store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was very reminiscent of my mom’s soup and this made me happy; but I know something was missing. The soup tasted much better on the second day as the flavours married. My mom’s soup however always tasted good on day one, so I know something was a touch off. Was it the extra West Indian ingredients or more likely my mom putting love and attention into the soup is what made it always taste oh so good. Probably a bit of both.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

My love of photography and Toronto has rewarded me. I love my city and I am constantly exploring it no matter the time or weather conditions. One very early morning on the way to work it must have been -27 this December morning and I saw a gingerbread “Toronto scape” presented by KitchenAid Canada. It was gingerbread pieces made by local bakery The Rolling Pin to resemble Toronto buildings. I took the picture, because that’s what I do and I used the hashtag made from gingerbread not knowing I had entered myself into a contest of sorts. Cut to me receiving a DM that I won a Professional 5 Series Mixer & Spiralizer and after answer a skill-testing question correctly these babies where shipped to me. I can’t wait to give my new mixer a try as this one is bigger than my other KitchenAid Custom series mixer and I will not have to bake in batches anymore; which will save me time or I can start making multi flavoured layered cakes and mix at the same time. I was over the moon with excitement when I found out I won this awesome prize and I have many more recipes in mind for my new toys and also a request for apple pie using my gadgets.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Inspired from Williams & Sonoma

Ingredients
Tomato Sauce

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
Meatballs
• 500g ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• ¼ small red onion, diced
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 large zucchini, trimmed and spiralized
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Eggplant Ragu
• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
• 1 eggplant, cut into cubes

Assembly
Tomato Sauce

1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar and add tomato sauce.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat to simmer.
Meatballs
1. Place ground turkey in a large bowl and add garlic, herbs, spices, Worcestershire sauce, red onion, bread crumbs, eggs and spiralized zucchini.
2. Combined and form into meatballs.
3. In a frying pan over medium-high heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
4. Sear meatballs on all sides in batches; about 1 minute per side.
5. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add zucchini to pan and cook for no more than 4 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Eggplant Ragu (Vegan Option)
1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce and eggplant.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was beyond excited to use my spiralizer and it couldn’t be any easier to use. The zucchini was spiraled and crunchy and it makes a wonderful substitute if you don’t want to have carbohydrates. The turkey zucchini meatballs were so lovely that I think this will be a new way for me to enjoy meatballs. I will still make my Italian style meatballs; but this is now a healthier alternative for me. The eggplant ragu came about when I thought to take this recipe one step further and make a meatless vegan recipe. I have always been of the mindset that if I could prepare tasty and flavourful vegetarian and vegan recipes I could increase my meatless days to about three days a week and if I can make recipes like this it would be a no brainer. Also if you have an audience that you think would question the whole zucchini spaghetti, then serve the turkey meatballs with spaghetti pasta instead. These few recipes can be combined in different ways and it’s still just as memorable.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape - Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape – Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer - Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer – Candy Coated Culinista

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon - Candy Coated Culinista

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given a bottle of red wine from a co-worker who had recently gotten marriage. The couple had given all the guests a bottle of red wine they bottled and corked at a winery in the Niagara region. Now since I don’t drink and don’t like wine I said I’d taste a small bit and would cook with the rest. I thought to do coq au vin again; but then thought I should try something else. This is when beef bourguigon came into my head. I also remember that scene from Julie & Julia where Julie says “don’t crowd the beef” and I said to myself this is a good recipe and I have never actually made a Julia Child’s recipe before. I started my prep and had everything ready to go and all that was left was to open the wine (queue the ominous music). Since it’s 2016 I made the assumption that this bottle of wine was going to be one of those twist top varieties and I was so wrong; and believe it or not I don’t even own a cork screw. So here’s where my 30 minute struggle to open a bottle of wine begins. I tried to use a knife and cut away at the cork on a slant, no luck. Then I went to my tool box; because I have a full tool box at the ready; but I don’t own a corkscrew. (I’ve never really been a conventional girl here; and have always been the work on my own car and build my own curio stand and solder this or that) hence I grabbed a screw and twisted it into the cork and then grabbed the hammer to pop it out. Still no luck and at this point I thought I was done, until I did the one thing I really didn’t want to do which was to push the cork in. I did this and strained away any cork pieces that may have broken and then pulled out the cork after the fact and retrieved my screw. Lesson learned here and I will be going to the dollar store to get myself a corkscrew as that was not a fun experience for me at all.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 3 plus hours
Difficulty level is: Medium, very time-consuming and persnickety

From: Slightly altered from Julia Child

Ingredients
Bouquet Garni

• 1 stalk of celery, cut into three pieces
• A bunch of parsley, stems only
• 4 fresh thyme sprigs
• 5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
Boeuf Bourguignon
• • 4 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 3 pound of stewing beef
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 1 bottle of dry red wine
• 1 stick unsalted butter, total use accordingly
• 3 cloves of garlic, whole
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 4 carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
• 3 celery, chopped
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered if large
• 1 tbsp herbs du provence
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Parsley, handful rough chop

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan, fry bacon, drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Pat dry all beef pieces and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide flour and beef into four portions. Place batch one into a ziplock bag and coat beef.
4. Place two tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed pot and brown beef on all side. Don’t crowd the meat. Once the meats is browned transfer to a bowl and continue with the next batch of beef until all is browned.
5. Pour off any excess oil from the pot if necessary and then pour wine into pot to deglaze for about 1 minute. Ensure to stir and scrape up brown bits and then pour over the beef.
6. Make the bouquet garni and set aside for the moment.
7. In the pot put butter and oil over medium-high heat and put in the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms along with the crumbled bacon and sauté until browned.
8. Add in the herbs du provence, tomato paste and parsley and continue to stir.
9. Pour in the wine and the beef along with the bouquet garni and gently simmer partially covered until the meat is tender; about 3 ½ to 4 hours and occasionally stir.
10. When beef bourguignon is ready remove bouquet garni and serve.

Tips
• Have kitchen string/twine on hand for bouquet garni
• Serve with baby potatoes or a baguette.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I didn’t add the pearl onions to this recipe as I didn’t really want all of those onions in the dish. I found this recipe to be so persnickety and yes I get the whole “don’t crowd the meat”; but this recipe had a lot going on and was so finicky and Mise en Place. Maybe it’s because I have always found myself to be a more instinctual cook who doesn’t like to follow a recipe in its entirety and yes I even slightly altered a Julia Child’s recipe as sacrilege as that probably is to most; but that’s just who I am. It was still an amazing recipe with its richness the smell the wine aroma and those perfectly chopped vegetables. I can see what all that fuss was about; but in the end this recipe is still way to fussy for me and this isn’t the way I like to cook. I didn’t even have kitchen twine for the bouquet garni and I had to use a cheesecloth that I use for my almond milk. It was really quite an experience to MacGyer my way through some aspects of this recipe. I have always loved MacGyer so in some ways I got to try my hand at working with what I have on hand; but next time I will try this is a slow cooker recipe.

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