hanger steak with grilled asparagus
you may not know what hanger steak is. this would be normal, you are however missing out since it’s one of the tastiest, most flavourful cuts of steak, and did i mention its also really cheap. it comes from the area near the diaphragm of a cow and thus gets lots of blood flow. this means its packed with flavour. it’s often called the ‘butcher’s steak’ since butcher’s used to save this cut of meat for themselves rather than sell it since it was so delicious.
hanger steak is not the most tender cut of meat, it is more flavourful instead. this means however, it does well with a marinade (although i didn’t marinade this one, and it still turned out awesome), and it should be cooked rare to medium-rare. do not overcook this cut of meat or you will have a tough piece of plastic on your hands. this steak was from sanagan’s meat locker, a local butcher in chinatown that you can read about here. it was superb and cost a grand total of 9 dollars. it fed 3 and easily could have fed 4 people who weren’t so greedy.
grilled hanger steak -
8 oz hanger steak
2 tbsp sweet paprika
salt and pepper
marinade of choice (if desired)
if marinading, prepare marinade and marinade steak for 4-6 hours or overnight. when ready to cook preheat bbq over medium-high heat. let the grill get pretty hot, and make sure it is very clear.
season the steak with salt and pepper and rub with paprika (skip the paprika if you used a marinade). sear the outside of the steak for 2-3 minutes per side. if you want the steak cooked medium (not recommended) then transfer to indirect heat for another few minutes.
transfer to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. allow the meat to rest and the juices to settle for 5-10 minutes before serving.
grab a beer, and maybe a few buds, and enjoy the start of summer.
pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach, goat cheese and pistachio
this recipe uses spinach and onions as the base filling, and then adds some creaminess with the goat cheese. the goat cheese will quickly melt, filling all the crevasses of the meat. this adds wonderful depth and keeps the meat moist. the pistachios were something i had never tried before, but i am glad i did. they balance the pork wonderfully, and have a deep, nutty, rich taste when roasted like this. they really take this roast to a new level.
1 pork tenderloin, centre cut
1/2 package of spinach, washed and de-stemmed
several large dollops of goat cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
preheat oven to 400 F. next begin to prep the pork tenderloin. bring to room temperature, and then score down centre. cut along entire length about 1/2 way down. carefully pull the tenderloin open and score each side so that you can entirely open up the tenderloin. lay between two pieces of parchment paper and with a rolling pin pound the tenderloin until flat. the flatter it is the faster it will cook. i stopped here about an inch. season the tenderloin and set aside.
meanwhile heat a frying pan with some olive oil, and when medium, add onions. sauté until translucent but not browned. add the washed and de-stemmed spinach allowing it to wilt. season with salt and pepper.
transfer contents to a strainer and allow some excess water to drain. crush the pistachios. i find the best way to do this is by placing them in a ziploc bag and hitting them with the butt of my hand or the bottom of a pot.
in a bowl mix together spinach, onions, pistachios, goat cheese, and dijon mustard. spoon into pork tenderloin and carefully roll up. tie up the tenderloin, which you can learn to do here. season the entire roast with salt and pepper.
heat an oven friendly frying pan over medium-high heat with some olive oil. brown the meat on all sides (2-3 minutes/side) and then transfer to the oven. roast for about 25-30 minutes, less if your pork was pounded thinner.
allow the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. this lets the juices settle and makes sure they end up in your meal and not on your cutting board.
now its time to carve up the roast and serve. this time we served with some roasted vegetables and sweet potato fries.
sausages with onion and pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 large bell pepper, sliced
1 hot pepper
1 onion, sliced
splash of red wine
salt and pepper
fresh sausage or hot dog buns
old white cheddar or mozzarella cheese
preheat oven to 400 F. allow sausages to come to room temperature so that they will cook more evenly. heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. once hot, brown the sausage on all sides, about 5-8 minutes. deglaze the pan with red wine, and once the wine is mostly evaporated transfer to baking dish lined with aluminum foil. smash some garlic cloves, and whatever herbs you have lying around and toss them in with the sausages. fold the aluminum foil into a nice bundle, and pop into oven. bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sausages are cooked fully through.
in the same pan heat some more oil and add your sliced onions, bell pepper, and hot pepper. season. allow them to brown stirring often and deglaze with a little water or more red wine if needed.
meanwhile prepare your buns and line with cheese. toast in the oven until nicely browned and the cheese has melted.
serve the sausages on the warmed buns topped with onions and peppers, and with a quick side salad. here i went for some arugula with mushrooms, fresh parmesan, and a lemon vinaigrette.
enjoy your quick meal, and if you make enough you’ll have lunch tomorrow!
porcini mushroom and rosemary encrusted beef tenderloin with a mushroom and port reduction
porcini and rosemary crusted beef tenderloin -
1 centre cut beef tenderloin, 3 lbs
1 ounce dried porcini mushroom
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
if your tenderloin isn’t yet tied up then you will need some twine to tie up the meat. this process is called trussing. there are some tricks that involve some sneaky looping, you can watch a video about trussing here.
season tenderloin all over with salt. refrigerate 4 to 24 hours. remove from fridge 30 minutes before roasting.
preheat oven to 400 F. bake mushrooms and rosemary for 5-10 minutes until very dry. this is important so that the mushrooms will turn into a powder when blitzed. they should break easily, and not be pliant at all. combine mushrooms, rosemary, and peppercorns in a spice grinder or food processor and grind to a coarse powder.
rub beef with olive oil. coat all over with porcini rosemary rub. heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. add beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. transfer to a roasting pan.
roast until internal temperature in thickest part reads 125 F, about 30 minutes for medium rare. remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. tend with foil, and let stand for 15 min.
cut into 1/4 inch slices and serve with mushroom port reduction sauce, boursin mashed potatoes, and home-made horseradish.
mushroom and port reduction sauce -
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 3/4 cup boiling water, reserve water
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 cup port wine
1 cup heavy red wine
2 rosemary sprigs
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
strain the porcini mushroom and water through an unbleached paper towel, reserving the liquid. roughly chop mushroom.
using the same skillet as the meat, add 1 tbsp butter, shallots, and chopped porcini. saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
add the port and red wine, scraping up browned bits. add mushroom stock and rosemary. bring to a boil and cook uncovered until sauce reduces by about half to approximately 1.5 cups. add salt and season to taste. strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan, and discard solids.
heat sauce over medium. whisk in 2 tbsp of butter, 1 at a time, just before serving.
serve on top of bourin mashed potatoes and with home-made horseradish.
enjoy this gourmet and delicious meal.
pulled pork enchiladas
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tbsp flour
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
assembly and toppings:
10-12 small corn tortillas or 4-5 large tortillas
oil for frying
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack or mozzarella cheese
sour cream (optional)
preheat oven to 350 F. then begin preparing the enchilada sauce. heat oil in a sauce pan. cook onion until softened and translucent, about 5 min over medium heat. sprinkle flour over top, stir and cook 1 minute. stir in tomato sauce and remaining ingredients. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the tortillas are ready.
for the filling, heat a skillet over medium, and cook onion until softened. stir in pork and jalapeno pepper. cook until just warmed through.
in a separate pan heat some oil and one at a time cook tortillas over medium for about 30 seconds per side just to warm them up. transfer the cooked tortillas to a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
fill each tortilla with the filling, top with some shredded monterey jack cheese and some green onions. roll up the tortilla and place in a high sided baking dish.
once all tortillas are stuffed top with the enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese. bake for 15-20 min or until the cheese melts. turn broiler on high and broil for 3-5 minutes so that the cheese gets a wonderful golden-brown colour.
let cool slightly and serve with guacamole and sour cream. i also served these guys with some mexican sweet potato quinoa (recipe coming soon), and a margarita which were fantastic complements to the enchiladas.
pan roasted pork chops with radicchio and apple
2 pork chops
salt and pepper
handful of sage
1 tbsp buter
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup marsala wine (can substitute for dry sherry or red wine if needed)
2 braeburn apples (can substitute for pippin or even granny smith), sliced
1 head of radicchio, sliced
2 tbsp cider vinegar
start by notching the fat strip every 1/2 to inch. just score the fat and don’t cut the meat at all. this prevents the pork chop from curling up as you cook it.
heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and when it just begins to smoke then add the chops and sear until it gets some nice colour. throw in some crushed garlic. cook for a minute then add butter and baste. add marsala wine, and throw in the sage and turn the heat down to medium-low. in a few minutes remove from heat and allow the chop to rest.
in a separate pan heat some more oil and add when hot add the apples. cook for a few minutes then add chopped rosemary and thyme. add the chopped radicchio and the cider vinegar and toss.
plate the warm radicchio and apple salad and top with the the pork chop. drizzle with some good olive oil and top with some fresh herbs.
the result is anything but boring.
root beer pulled pork sandwiches
1 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 4-5 lb bone-less pork shoulder
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cups root beer
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup bbq sauce plus more for serving (recipe here)
2 green onions, diced
8 soft hamburger buns
start with your pulled pork. you want to first smear the pork with dijon mustard. this will add flavour and provide something for your spice blend to adhere to.
next combine your spice mixture well in a small bowl. if you are missing a few spices don’t worry about it too much. cover all sides of the pork with the spice mix and rub into meat with fingers.
preheat oven to 225 F. heat an oven friendly frying pan with deep walls and a lid over high heat. add a few tbsp of olive oil and when hot sear each side of the pulled pork for 1-2 minutes.
add the cider vinegar and root beer once all sides have been seared, cover the pot/pan and transfer to the preheated oven.
let the pork cook for 6 hours checking on it and flipping it every few hours.
next remove from the oven and shred with two forks. simply pull the super tender meat apart and remove any excess fat. poor out 3/4 of the root beer mixture and add 1 cup of bbq to the pot. return the meat to the pot and put back into the oven covered for about 30 min or until ready to serve.
remove pulled pork from the oven and serve on fresh buns with green onions, bbq sauce, and sliced avocado.
beef stew (with sweet potatoes)
2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium, or 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
2-3 bay leaves
fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
4 cups beef broth
heat oil in a large stewing pot over high heat. season beef with salt and pepper and cover in flour. working in batches, to not overcrowd the pan, brown the meat on all sides. transfer to a plate and set aside.
reduce the heat to medium, add some more oil and add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. season with salt and pepper. cook 10-15 min until well browned and aromatic, stirring occasionally.
add tomato paste and mix to incorporate. cook for 1-2 minutes. then add the balsamic vinegar, wine and herbs and simmer until liquid reduces by about 1/2. this will take 10-15 minutes.
add beef broth, meat, and potatoes. make sure everything is just covered by liquid. more stock may be needed. bring to a simmer and then simmer with pot covered for about 2 1/2 hours.
remove the bay leaves and fresh herbs. serve into boils with some fresh herbs or a gremolata and some nice fresh bread.
this sweet potatoes at this point will have mostly disintegrated and added some sweetness to the stew that nicely balances the heavy beef flavours.
enjoy with a nice heavy red wine, and remember to make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach!
lamb osso buco
1 lb lamb leg cut into shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion sliced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary + 2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 325 F. thoroughly pat dry the lamb shanks. season with salt and pepper.
in a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high and when shimmering sear the shanks. five minutes per side and resist the temptation to move them or peak underneath. just let them go and monitor the heat so it doesn’t get too hot. once nicely browned remove from heat and set aside.
reduce heat and add the onions for 2 minutes. add the carrots and celery and saute for about 7 more minutes. add the garlic and tomato paste and continue to stir.
deglaze the pot with red wine. add the wine and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to dislodge any stuck on and delicious flavour. add the chicken stock.
return the shanks to the pot and nestle the fresh herbs in the pot also. cover and transfer to the oven. cook for about 1.5 hours, at this point the meat will be falling off the bone. check it half-way through and flip the shanks.
1 lb minced lamb
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
dash worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup red wine
fresh thyme and rosemary
1-2 cups chicken stock
6-8 medium potatoes (i prefer russets)
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/8 cup milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus some for topping
minced lamb is the ideal thing to use, but if not available you can use a mix of lamb and veal to great effect. you can also substitute out for ground beef if preferred but then the dish becomes cottage pie.
preheat oven to 375 F. heat a large skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. once hot sear the minced lamb for 3-4 min to add some colour. season with salt and pepper. grate in onions, carrots, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
add the tomato paste and worcestershire sauce and then add the red wine and cook until the red wine has mostly disappeared. add the chicken stock and herbs and stir regularly until the chicken stock has mostly been absorbed.
leave on low heat until potatoes are prepared.
meanwhile prep potatoes. bring peel and chop the potatoes and then boil until tender. mash with butter, egg yolks and milk. the egg yolks are an extra binder and help to give more colour to the potatoes when they bake up.
add some parmesan cheese. the cheese will give the potatoes a lovely colour so be generous.
dish the lamb mince into a dish and top with your potato mash. sprinkle with reserved cheese, salt, and pepper. gently fork the top so it will bake nicely. bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned. you may want to broil for 1-2 minutes at end for extra colour.
cut and serve with some fresh herbs.
pork chops with an apple salsa
2 pork chops
1 diced onion
2-3 diced apples
4-5 diced onions
2 tbsp brown sugar
1-2 cups apple juice
apple and pork fit together like two peas in a pod. i don’t know what exactly makes these two such a classic taste combination - maybe its the moisture the apples bring to the pork, which can be dry often. regardless together they are always a homerun combination and this is no exception.
start by frying the pork chops on high heat in a little olive oil after seasoning them to get some nice colour to the pork. once they are coloured on both sides remove the chops, turn down the heat and fry the onions and mushrooms.
after about five minutes add the apples and the brown sugar. fry fro another five to ten minutes and then add the apple juice and return the pork to the frying pan. cover and leave to simmer on a low heat until the pork is cooked.
the key with pork is to not over cook it. although you do need to fully cook pork you only need to get the pork to about 160 F which means it can still be slightly pink in the middle. this will leave the pork the most flavourful and least dry.
this dish works best with just a simple bed of rice to absorb the delicious apple juices.
slow-roasted leg of lamb
1 leg of lamb (make sure it will fit in a large roasting pan)
3 cloves garlic
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 300 F. make sure you start about 4 to 4 and a half hours before you plan on eating. don’t worry though the vast majority of this time is unsupervised cooking, and i often even leave the house or watch a movie.
allow your leg of lamb to come to room temperature. you can buy legs of lamb at most butchers. they also have them frozen at some grocery stores. if it is frozen make sure it is completely defrosted before you start cooking. season generously with salt and pepper.
heat a skillet large enough for your entire leg, ideally this skillet is also oven friendly and can be simply transferred into the oven, but if not you can easily transfer to another roasting pan. add some oil and get it hot. just when the oil begins to smoke sear the meat on all sides. add the crushed garlic (no need to peel) and a couple handfuls of fresh herbs.
deglaze the pan with the white wine after the meat is seared, cover (with lid or tightly with aluminum foil) and transfer to the oven.
let the meat roast for 4 hours in the oven, remove and let rest for 10 min. that’s it. like we said, theres fifteen minutes of prep work, followed by 4 hours of nothing, and your ready to serve your gourmet meal.
we served ours with some mashed potatoes and the strained pan drippings from the lamb. a home-made mint sauce would also be exceptional. don’t forget to save the bones also as these can be frozen and made into an amazing stock (recipe to come soon!)
this is something gourmet that anyone can make. seriously try it the next time you want to impress someone. it wont fail you.
1 pound of extra lean ground beef
2 diced onions
3 cloves of diced garlic
1 diced pepper
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp dried mustard
a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper seeds
tabasco sauce (to taste)
1 can kidney beans
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
start by frying the ground beef on high heat in just a little bit of olive oil until browned. remove the ground beef and turn the heat down. in a little more olive oil fry the onions, garlic and pepper. fry for about 15 minutes.
add the red wine and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. add all the rest of the ingredients. depending on the consistency you may need to add a little water. your chili will thicken as you cook it so make sure you get it to the right consistency.
allow the chili to simmer on low heat for at least an hour and a half and up to three for more hours if needed. place your bread bowls or just serve with fresh baguette. for an extra bit of warmth add grated cheddar cheese on top.
oh and don’t be afraid to “accidentally” overfill your bread bowls.
4 veal chops
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
there really isn’t a lot to this recipe. when you are starting with an amazing cut of meat like veal chops you just want to enhance the flavours. in this case we went for some garlic and fresh herbs.
crush your garlic with the side of a knife and the butt of your hand and rub the garlic over the meat. drizzle with olive oil and press some fresh rosemary onto the meat. season generously with pepper, hold off on the salt until just before cooking. allow the meat to sit in at room temp for 30-45 min, or in the fridge up to overnight.
preheat your bbq to medium high and make sure it is well cleaned. season the chops with salt and you are ready to cook.
an important thing about bbqing is to be patient. once the meat hits the grill don’t touch it. let it sit, if you disturb it, it won’t cook well. cook it for 5-8 min or until the bottom is nicely coloured and flip. when the bottom is cooked it should pull back from the grill fairly easily, so if you’re struggling its probably a sign your meat isn’t ready to be flipped. grill on the other side for 5-6 min and remove from heat.
let the meat sit for 5- 10 minutes before serving.
we served our chops with some roasted butternut squash a quick side salad.
moroccan turkey and peanut butter stew
arriving home from work yesterday i had no idea what i was going to make for dinner. i checked the fridge, but nothing really jumped out at me. then in the freezer i noticed a container with leftover turkey and stock from thanksgiving. perfect starting ingredients for making a stew. i love making stews because they are stress free. nothing is rushed with a stew and it is almost impossible to not cook it properly. also they are great because they are so flexible. they can be cooked for whatever amount of time fits your schedule, so if your guests are late, or your pre-dinner conversation is particularly good it’s not a problem.
after finding the turkey and stock i was looking through the pantry for inspiration when i came across a tub of raisins. its amazing how quickly one ingredient can completely change your direction on a dish - moroccan themed stew it was.
stew can take many shaped, from hearty red wine beef stew, which is a favourite of mine in the winter to this stew which is much lighter and has a completely different flavour palate. i was inspired to make a moroccan stew when i saw raisins in my pantry. adding peanut butter and honey the moroccan theme took shape. the rest of the stew is extremely variable and was whatever i had laying around the house. thats another thing i love about stews. all you really need is a meat, stock and vegetables (or even try using vegetable stock and tofu or sweet potatoes for a healthy vegetarian twist). everything else is up to you.
1.5 pounds of turkey (lamb, chicken, or even sweet potato would also work great here)
2 litres turkey or vegetable stock
diced potatoes, carrots, peppers and any other vegetables that you have lying around that you think would taste good.
one finely diced onion
three cloves of garlic
3-4 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1 cup dried chopped fruit (i used raisins, apricots and figs)
1-2 tsp each of coriander, chilli powder, cumin and any other spices you think would be good
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
if using uncooked meat start by dicing the meat and frying it with the olive oil in a large stewing pot. if using pre-cooked meat like i was there is no need to add the meat until later. next remove the meat and fry the onions slowly in the butter until slightly golden.
add all the rest of the ingredients and let simmer slowly until you are ready to eat (1-3 hours, if cooking for longer add a lid so the stew doesn’t get too thick). Serve with fresh bread, rice or cous cous.
what you need:
4-5 lbs of pork back ribs
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 to 2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt
slather: see homemade bbq sauce recipe
smoky sweet potatoes
what you need:
4 large sweet potatoes
2-3 tbsp peanut oil
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 375 F. Arrange ribs meaty side down in a large roasting pan or cut in halves and arrange in smaller baking dishes. pour broth over ribs, and cover with aluminum foil. bake for 1 hour.
while ribs are braising wash and scrub potatoes and cut into 8 wedges lengthwise and coat in peanut oil, salt and pepper. place skin side down on a baking tray and place in the oven above the ribs for 30 min. remove from oven and let stand while ribs finish braising. the potatoes can be made ahead of time up to this point and refrigerated for up to two days.
remove ribs from the pan and allow to cool. pat dry. save the strained juices they make excellent stalk for soups, or gravies. ribs can also be made ahead of time up until this point and refrigerated for up to two days.
line a large pan with foil, and increase oven temp to 425 F. stir dry rub ingredients together in a bowl. pat the ribs dry and then sprinkle/gently press spices into meaty areas. you may need to double the amount of spices used depending on how meaty the ribs are. turn bony side up and cut the ribs into individual pieces.
Prop meaty-side up in baking tray and cook for 30-35 min uncovered (15 min longer if ribs have been chilled). drain fat from pan. place potatoes on side and bake for 15 min at 425 F (about 10 min longer if chilled) and then turn and cook another 15 min or until nicely browned. meanwhile prepare homemade bbq sauce.
slather ribs with 1/3 of sauce. bake for five min uncovered. turn on side and slather with the second 1/3 of the sauce. after five min turn again and cover with remaining sauce. bake five min.
remove ribs and potatoes from oven and pile onto a heated platter. serve with lots of napkins!
marinated flank steak
most people think of flank steak as a poor cut of meat because it isn’t as tender as a fillet or a sirloin, but cuts that are tougher are also much more flavourful, and if properly marinated flank steak will produce a tasty and inexpensive piece of meat. this piece cost only 15 dollars and fed 5 of us.
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
combine all the spices together and mix well in a small bowl and rub over both sides of the steak and place in the fridge for 20 min. meanwhile prepare the marinade.
3 cloves garlic
1-2 hot peppers
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
splash of cider vinegar
handful of cilantro
mince the garlic, peppers, and cilantro and mix well with other ingredients and pour over the steak either in a ziploc bag or in a flat dish and place in the fridge overnight, or at room temp for an hour. flip once or twice.
preheat the bbq to medium high heat and brush with some olive oil. remove the steak from the marinade and place it onto the grill for 3-5 min (depending on how you like your steak cooked) and then flip it. after 3-5 min remove from grill and place on a cutting board to rest for at least 5 min before cutting to allow the juices to settle.
slice thinly against the grain and serve. the marinade if boiled, reduced, and strained can also make and excellent sauce for the steak. enjoy.
spicy pulled pork
4-5 pounds pork butt (not actually the butt of a pig but rather a cut from the shoulder that is boneless and perfect for pulling)
one can tomato sauce
one can tomato purree
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
two diced onions
one or two jalapenos
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 bay leaves
quarter cup of brown sugar
this will make enough for at least a dozen people but everyone loves leftover pulled pork and it is a shockingly cheap cut of meat so we always make a lot.
preheat oven to 250 F. cook the onions in a little oil until they become translucent on medium heat. season the pork with salt and pepper, then sear it on all sides. place in large baking dish that has a lid, and add all the rest of the ingredients. use enough apple juice until the pork is completely immersed in fluid and then place into the oven with lid on for about four hours. at this point take it out of the oven and carefully lift the pork out of the broth onto a cutting board (this might require two people since it has a tendency to fall apart). using two forks “pull” the pork into small pieces. the meat is so tender at this point in time that it will be easy.
remove the majority of the fat and place the pork back in the broth. return the pot to the oven and continue cooking until you are ready to eat.
an awesome thing about slow-cooking is that there is no need to be exact about cooking times. it’s ready whenever you are, which is nice in a university setting where people are often running behind or you don’t want to rush to eat.
you are now ready to serve the pork however you like. it is great with rice, on potatoes in quesadillas or, how i first fell in love, in burritos.
duck breast with an orange and marsala wine sauce
most people would never consider cooking duck themselves. while it is a more expensive meat it is absolutely fantastic. it tastes something along the lines of a fillet mignon but with more depth of flavour. cooking duck breast properly is critical, as the meat is fatty unless properly prepared. if done right though the fat can be extracted and makes an excellent addition to mashed potatoes or other recipes.
two medium sized duck breasts (can be purchased at any butcher, and at some grocery stores also)
2 blood oranges (any orange can also be used)
allow the duck breasts to warm to room temperature, and apply salt and pepper liberally. preheat over to 400 F. place breast skin side up and with a sharp knife gently score the skin in a diagonal pattern. be careful to not puncture the meat. this allows the fat in the skin to drain out and makes the skin crispy and delicious. place the breasts skin side down in a cold frying pan. it is very important that the pan starts cold. this allows the breasts to warm up slowly so the fat can drain out. the frying pan should be oven-safe (cast iron works best). if you dont have a good oven-safe frying pan, place a baking dish in the oven and allow it to heat up.
heat the duck breasts over medium to high heat for 5-6 min until the skin has some colour and the fat is in the frying pan. flip the breasts and sear the other side for 2-3 min. turn the breasts skin-side down again and put frying pan into the oven. cook for 5-6, slightly longer if you desired a more cooked breast. duck can be served rare in the centre much like steak, and this will give it the most flavour. remove the frying pan from oven transfer breasts to a cutting board. allow them to rest covered with tin foil for 5 min before cutting. this gives the juices time to settle.
while the breasts are resting, drain and reserve duck fat from pan. it makes an excellent addition to many recipes, and will take your mashed potatoes to a whole new level of flavour. place frying pan used to cook duck back on the burner under medium-hot heat. add the juice of 2 blood oranges and marsala wine to taste (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup). marsala wine is a very flavourful wine superb for sauces because of its fruity flavours. it is very similar to port but from italy. it can that can be found at the lcbo, but red wine can easily be substituted in this sauce. allow the wine and orange juice to reduce and thicken.
once duck has rested, slice thickly and serve the duck on a bed of wild rice or mashed potatoes, and add sauce.
slow-cooked lamb shanks
it’s often times that the best meals take the longest. this recipe is no exception. slow-cooking most meats results in a flavour-infused, tender main. over the past year, we’ve grown to love slow-cooking lamb. we’ve done a lot of experimenting with lamb and have discovered that this recipe can be heavily tailored to one’s fancy.
start by heating up olive oil in a medium saucepan and adding your lamb shanks to brown. after they’ve browned, remove them from the pan to sit for a few minutes. in the meantime, add a generous amount of fennel seeds to the pan to sizzle for twenty seconds. dice 2 cups of carrots, 2 cups of onions, and 2 cups of celery and add them to your fennel oil. season these veggies generously. let them sweat for 3-4 minutes.
while the veggies are sweating, you can start making the tomato-red wine base. mix together one can of mixed tomatoes, one 156 mL can of tomato paste, and half a bottle of any cheap red wine. if you thought that by adding an expensive bottle you would get a tastier piece of meat will result. think again. although adding a heavier bottle of red will give the meat more flavour, plus you get to drink the rest.
at this point, add your lamb shanks and your sauce to the veggies. we’d recommend transferring everything to a larger pan that can be put in the oven. place in the oven at 275 F for over four hours. you can cook these shanks for up to 5 hours, but over five hours will cause the meat to fall off the bone into your sauce. you don’t want this. you may add more wine throughout the cooking process if desired.
we enjoy plating each shank onto a bed of oven-roasted potatoes. check our side dishes section on the sidebar for our favourite roasted potato recipe. after the shank is lying on a bed of potatoes, drizzle some of the sauce overtop.