Category Archives: Food

Autumn Toast

My most cherished season is upon us. Cheers.

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The perfect compliment to hard cider, wool socks, and a wood fire:

stew

Pumpkin-Cider Stew

  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt or 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, halved, sliced, and broken into thin slivers
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 14-oz. can beef broth
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 6 or 7 miniature white and/or orange pumpkins, or half a 5-lb. pie pumpkin, or 2 lb. potatoes
  • 2 medium parsnips or carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, or 8 oz. baby carrots with tops, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 2 Jonathan or Gala apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • Fennel Seeds (optional)

Directions

In a self-sealing plastic bag combine flour, the 2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Add beef chunks. Close bag; shake to coat. In a Dutch oven brown half the beef and half the onion at a time in 1 tablespoon of hot oil. Return all meat and onion to Dutch oven. Add broth, cider, and vinegar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/4 hours.

Meanwhile, if using miniature pumpkins, cut a 1/2-inch slice from the bottom of each; discard slice. Scoop out seeds and fibrous strings. If using pie pumpkin, peel, seed, remove strings, and cut into large chunks. If using potatoes, peel and cut into wedges.

Add pumpkin pieces or potatoes,and parsnips or carrots to beef mixture. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes more. Add apples; cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes more or until vegetables and fruit are tender. Ladle into bowls or pumpkin bowls* to serve. Sprinkle with additional fennel seeds. Makes 8 servings

To Make Pumpkin Bowl: For each pumpkin bowl, cut a 1-inch slice from the stem end of a 1-1/2 to 2-lb. pumpkin; set aside stem. Scoop out seeds and fibrous strings. Ladle soup in bowl; replace stem. Or, if desired, place hollowed pumpkin with top in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F. oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until tender. Season inside of pumpkin with salt. Serve as above.

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BAKED BEANS AND BEER

beansandbeer

  • 1 pound small white beans or navy beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 pound salt pork or bacon, diced
  • 3 cups beer

In a large pot, bring beans and water to a boil; boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour; drain off water. Place beans in a large, non-metallic casserole. Add onions, molasses, ketchup, mustard, salt, and hot pepper sauce; mix well. Tuck diced salt pork or bacon into the beans. Pour beer over all. Cover and bake at 300° for 6 hours, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the beans are tender. After 5 hours, if there is too much liquid in the casserole, remove cover and allow liquid to evaporate during the last hour of cooking.
Serves 8 to 10.

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