Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Tuesday Braise

Most Tuesday evenings I can be found heading to Milestone Crossfit, well let's be real, three nights a week and most Saturday mornings I can be found heading there ;) What that means for my cooking is not too much in the summer when I usually want quick, small, not too cooked bites.  What it means in the winter when I usually want a slowly braised hot meal is that I have to either start using my crockpot more (yes I need to do that) or figure out ways to achieve the same flavors as a good braise with less time/effort required.  The latest attempt to quickly braise something arose from the need to do something tasty in little time and the need to use up an ever growing pile of veggies coming from my Farmhouse Delivery box.  In honor of my quick Tuesday night meals here's one that will certainly make the rounds again...

Quick Braised Cabbage

Head napa cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1/4 cups chicken stock
Salt, pepper to taste
2 smoked ham hocks
1.  Saute ham hocks in olive oil until browned, remove from skillet
2,  Add onion, celery and carrot, saute 2 min 
3,  Add cabbage
4.  Shred pork off hocks, add to skillet
5,  Add stock and season, let stock boil down till its nearly gone and serve


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hunters Pie: Paleo Comfort Food

It's funny how your tastes change over time.  As a kid I went through a phase where I hated shepherds pie, there was something disturbing to me about all that stuff under a potato crust.  Looking back on it I think it was the inclusion of peas (mom didn't cook with them all that often but they sometimes appeared in her shepherds pie).  Peas have never been a favorite for me, still not sure that they are.  Somewhere along the way though I came back around, started enjoying the warmth that a slice of shepherds pie imparts on the eater. 

Rejoining the shepherds pie bandwagon I have come up with a recipe I like (and have shared it before), given my recent dietary changes though my pie needed to undergo a little bit of a makeover.  This time around I was inspired by a venison roast we had eaten the night before (to be posted soon), the roast was delicious and yet it also yielded plenty of leftovers.  Similar to the origins of shepherds pie (a nutritious and delicious way for shepherds to take a meal with them into the fields to tend their flocks), hunters need a nutritious and delicious way to take food with them off to the hunt.  It is deer season here in Texas so there is plenty of venison to go around combine it with some sweet potatoes and tasty root veggies you get a hearty and delectible fall/winters eve meal.

Hunters Pie
1 Medium Sweet Onion, Diced
2 Carrots, Chopped
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Large Bunch of Mustard Greens, Chopped
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, Mashed
1.5lb Venison Roast, Cubed
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Saute Onion, Garlic and Carrots with 1 tbsp olive oil and liberal amount of ground black pepper.

2. Once onions and carrots begin to take on brown color, add meat*.  If meat isn't cooked, brown very well.  If using leftovers/cooked meat just bring to temperature.  Once meat is at desired state of brown/heated through, add greens to allow them to wilt.

3. Pour veggie/meat mix in the bottom of a 9x9 pan.  Top with mashed sweet potato.

4. Bake at 350 until top begins to brown.

*If you are not using leftovers/pre-cooked meat, season the meat well with basic, salt, pepper and garlic.