As we enter this last week of January, we've already hunkered under weeks of arctic-like bitter cold, a rain-sleet-ice-snow storm, and another five inches shortly thereafter, and flood-threatening rain to top it all off~~~I can now see the grass again (for the time being), and with it all comes the stark realization that we still have two more official months of winter! My impatience, however, really comes from wanting to dig in my garden, so I look at winter with a bit of reverence for what it actually brings: lots of dormant rest for the beauty that will (soon) explode in spring. The rain and ice and snow helps bank us in moisture, and the wintertime also allows our farmers to take an ever-so-slight break from the 24/7 rigors of the high growing/producing season. So hang in there, and enjoy the sunshine when it happens, and keep a good stock of stuff to melt the ice, and gloves and mittens and hats and boots to thwart the next chill that's surely coming down the road...
In vendor news, a reminder that Beaver Run Farm will not be at market tomorrow: Steve and Becky are still in California on their annual trip to see their children and grandchildren. Steve will be back at market next Friday, February 2.
As always, we look forward to seeing you throughout this winter~~and helping you to remain patient until next spring! We have convenient parking and sheltered warmth inside from the frigid temperatures and cranky weather. We appreciate all of your support, and hope to see you tomorrow~~ Here's to staying warm!
This week at market:
Stone Meadow Farm:
Artisan cheeses; fresh butter; grass-fed beef: lean ground beef, steaks, ribs, and specialty cuts & products; veal
Beef, Pork, and Poultry
Beaver Run Farms: See you February 2!
Pork and chicken, specialty cuts and products
Punako Lane Artisan Hearth:
Artisan hearth-baked breads and biscotti, specialty items
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Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
Adapted from http://cooking.nytimes.com
Recipe by Regina Schrambling
Serves 4 to 6
This is a rich and uniquely flavored beef stew, a winter comfort food that gets even better a day later. This stew would be a great weekend dinner, prepared leisurely early in the day, because comfort food is not only food we make for others, but food we take the time to prepare to comfort ourselves.
"This one, while complex in flavor, is not difficult to prepare, but it cannot be rushed. Make it when you have the time to indulge in the meditative qualities of chopping, sautéing, reducing, braising, waiting and tasting. You will be rewarded with an exceptionally flavorful dish that is just as satisfying to eat as it was to cook."
If you like mushrooms, the recipe easily accommodates the full pound, according to the reviews comments by readers. The mustard flavor mellows and the Cognac adds a rich undertone; don't be afraid of the amount of mustard! Stews absorb and mellow flavors greatly as they cook. Add a loaf of crusty bread, and a salad or some sautéed greens, and a glass of wine~~~~
¼ pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, as needed
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, as needed
½ cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
½ cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
½-1 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
¼ cup red wine
Place salt pork in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.
If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.
Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Add carrots, lower heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
As the stew cooks, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender. Set aside in pan.
Close to the end of the stew's simmer time, stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.