Top 5: Winter comfort foods
5. Anything in the crockpot. Really, anything. Pot roast or carnitas for starters. You literally just heave a hunk of meat and some assorted veggies (root veggies like turnips are in season), leave it for the day, and 6-8 hours later you're set. For something a little different, try working with a tagine. That's what Saffron Chef Sameh Wadi likes to do. Here's his recipe for braised beef a la tagine:
Beef Short Rib Tagine* (North African Beef Stew)
3 pounds beef short ribs
4 tablespoons Spice Trail Tagine Spice
1/8 cup of vegetable oil plus 3 tablespoons
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 large onions, chopped
8 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup rich chicken stock
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Salt to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
In a large bowl mix the short ribs with Spice Trail Tagine Spice, salt and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, making sure to coat each rib thoroughly with spices. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour at least.
Heat remaining oil in Tagine or large pot and place beef in one layer without overcrowding the pan then sear on all sides. Remove meat from Tagine and place garlic, onions, carrots, tomatoes and sweet potatoes and cook on low heat, add chicken stock and return short ribs to Tagine, cover and place in oven at 300 degrees. Bake for 3 hours and then add the chickpeas, cilantro, parsley and lemon juice. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.
*Tagine is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. They are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce.
If you don't have a Tagine pot, this recipe could also be prepared in a covered baking dish.
What else do you like making in the winter, peeps?