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Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

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Historians divide Polish American immigration into three “waves”, the largest from 1870 to 1914, a second after World War II, and a third after Poland’s independence in 1989 when Poland was freed from Communist rule. Most Polish Americans are descended from the first wave, when millions of Poles fled Polish districts of Germany, Russia, and Austria. This group is often called the za chlebem (for bread) immigrants because most were peasants in Poland who did not own land and lacked basic needs. Substantial research and sociological works such as The Polish Peasant found that many Polish immigrants shared a common objective of someday owning land. U.S. Legislation cut Polish immigration from 1921 to World War II but opened up after World War II to include many displaced persons from the Holocaust.
Immigrants in all three waves were attracted by the high wages and ample job opportunities for unskilled manual labor in the United States and found jobs in American mining, meatpacking, construction, steelwork, and heavy industry—in many cases dominating these fields until the mid-20th century. Over 90% of Poles arrived and settled in communities with other Polish immigrants and the largest such community historically was in Chicago, Illinois.

Polish Museum in Chicago

The first emigrants from Poland were Silesians from the Prussian partition of Poland. They settled in Texas in 1854, creating an agricultural community that carried their native traditions, customs, and language. The land they chose was bare, unpopulated countryside where they created communities. The first home built by a Pole is the John Gawlik House, constructed in 1858. The building still stands and displays a high-pitched roof common in Eastern European architecture.

Władysław Kloski’s Inn (1890) was located at the southeast corner of Noble and Division streets in Chicago.

Poles also settled a farming community in Parisville, Michigan, in 1857. Historians debate whether the community was established earlier, and claims that the community originated in 1848 still exist. The community was started by five or six Polish families who came from Poland by ship in the 1850s and lived in Detroit, Michigan in 1855 before deciding to initiate a farming community in Parisville, where they created prosperous farms and raised cattle and horses. The lands were originally dark black swamps, and the settlers succeeded in draining the land for use as fruit orchards. As per the Swamplands Act of 1850, the lands were legally conferred to pioneering settlers who could make use of these territories. Individual Polish farmers and their families took advantage of this new law, and other immigrants settled disparate areas in interior Michigan independently. The Parisville community was surrounded by Native American Indians who continued to live in teepees during this time. The Poles and the Indians enjoyed good relations and historical anecdotes of gift-giving and resource sharing are documented. Polish farmers were dispersed throughout Michigan, and by 1903 roughly 50,000 Poles were said to live in Detroit.

Detroit Polish Grocery Store 1922

Polish cuisine is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef, in addition to a wide range of vegetables, spices, and herbs. It is also characteristic in its use of various kinds of noodles as well as cereals and grains. In general, Polish cuisine is hearty and heavy in its use of butter, cream, eggs, and extensive seasoning. Among the well-known Polish national dishes are bigos [ˈbiɡɔs]; pierogi [pʲɛˈrɔɡʲi]; kiełbasa; pork loin kotlet schabowy breaded cutlet [ˈkɔtlɛt sxaˈbɔvɨ]; gołąbki cabbage roll [ɡɔˈwɔ̃pkʲi]; zrazy roulade [ˈzrazɨ]; sour cucumber soup (zupa ogórkowa) [ˈzupa ɔɡurˈkɔva]; mushroom soup, (zupa grzybowa) [ˈzupa ɡʐɨˈbɔva]; tomato soup (zupa pomidorowa) [ˈzupa pɔmidɔˈrɔva]; rosół meat broth [ˈrɔsuw]; żurek sour rye soup [ˈʐurɛk]; flaki tripe soup [ˈflakʲi]; and red beetroot barszcz [barʂt͡ʂ].

A traditional Polish dinner is composed of three courses, beginning with a soup like the popular rosół broth or tomato soup. The soups are followed by an appetizer such as herring (prepared in either cream, oil, or in aspic); or other cured meats and vegetable salads. The main course usually includes a serving of meat, such as roast, breaded pork cutlet, or chicken, with a surówka [suˈrufka], shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar (carrots, celeriac, seared beetroot) or sauerkraut. The side dishes are usually boiled potatoes, rice or less commonly kasza. Meals often conclude with a dessert including makowiec, a poppy seed pastry, napoleonka cream pie or sernik cheesecake.

These authentic recipes make very generous servings, so for my family, I cut the recipes in half.

Kotlet Schabowy (Polish Pork Chops)

Ingredients

4-6 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
3 egg whites or 2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/3 vegetable cup oil, more if needed
4-6 pats of butter

Directions

Place pork chops between 2 sheets of heavy plastic on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet, turning occasionally, until ¼-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.


Pour flour onto a large plate. Whisk eggs in a wide, shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs and marjoram in a separate shallow bowl.
Dredge chops with flour. Dip in the whisked egg. Coat with bread crumbs on both sides. Shake off excess coating. Place chops on a plate and refrigerate for an hour or until ready to cook.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breaded chops; cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Place in oven 300 degrees, on a heatproof platter with a pat of butter on top and place a sheet of foil on top while the rest of the dinner is prepared.

Polish Kapusta

Ingredients

16 oz bag sauerkraut
4 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
⅓ cup of water
2 tablespoons flour

Directions

Rinse the sauerkraut under running water. Squeeze out excess water and chop it.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter. Add onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until they are golden brown. Add the mushrooms. Saute mushrooms and onion for 3 minutes. Add sauerkraut, sugar and bay leaf to the mushrooms; cook and stir for 10 minutes.

Blend the water into the flour. Mix with the sauerkraut mixture and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve as a side dish.

Pierogies

Pierogies are filled dumplings that are served as a side dish.

Ingredients

1 box Classic Onion or your favorite variety of pierogies ( I used Mrs. T’s® Pierogies)
¼ cup butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme leaves
Sour Cream

Directions

Place frozen pierogies on a plate in the refrigerator early in the day that they will be cooked.


Heat butter in a large skillet and sauté the pierogies on both sides over medium heat, about 8 minutes or until tender and golden brown.


Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thyme and sour cream together and top the pierogies with sour cream before serving.

Polish Walnut Bread

Dough Ingredients
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 large egg
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for a few turns to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the butter cut into cubes and the egg, water, and cream. Mix until combined and the dough begins to stick together. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for about 7 minutes. It should be smooth and soft.

Put the dough in a large buttered bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.

While the dough is rising, prepare the walnut filling:

10 ounces walnuts
4 ounces (1 stick unsalted butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the walnut filling:

Put the walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground.

By hand or in a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in one egg, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Add the ground walnuts and mix until incorporated. Set aside.

To make the pastry:

Place the risen dough on a lightly floured board and roll it into a 20- by 15-inch rectangle.

Spread the walnut filling evenly over the dough. From the long end, roll up the dough, pinching the ends to the sides to seal it. Pull the dough to a length of 25 inches and twist the roll into a circle. Place it on a large parchment-lined baking sheet.

Let the dough rise for about 1 1/2 hours until doubled.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush it on the dough. Bake the walnut roll for 40 to 45 minutes, until it is a dark golden brown color and registers 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Let the walnut roll cool for 15 minutes and then slice it yo serve it warm. The pastry can also be reheated in a 350 degree F oven.

 

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Italian Ribeye Steak

The rub adds delicious flavor to the steak.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Citrus Rosemary Gray Salt Rub, recipe below
2 (10-ounce) ribeye steaks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs

Directions

Season the rib eye steaks all over with the citrus rosemary sea salt. Let the meat stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the steaks and cook over high heat until crusty on the bottom, about 4minutes. Turn the steaks over and add the butter, thyme, and garlic to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, basting the steaks with the melted butter, garlic, and herbs, until the steaks are medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer.

Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the pan juices poured over the steak.

Citrus Rosemary Gray Salt Rub

1 cup of coarse gray sea salt
Grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
Grated orange peel from 1 orange
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper

Combine the above ingredients and spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
Let it air-dry for 2 days or dry it in the oven at the lowest oven setting your oven has 2 hours
Store in an airtight container.

Spinach, Tomato, Blue Cheese Salad

Ingredients

5 oz baby spinach leaves
1 large or two small scallions, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1-2 tablespoon Italian vinaigrette

Directions

In a large salad bowl toss together the baby spinach, scallions, blue cheese, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Toss until salad is completely mixed and coated with dressing. If you need more dressing, add just a little bit more.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Breaded Mushrooms

This recipe can be doubled. I like to prepare this recipe earlier in the day and refrigerate the breaded mushrooms until baking time so that the crumbs are extra crispy.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
10 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
2 ½ tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg white
10 large white button mushrooms

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking dish with foil and spray the foil with olive oil cooking spray; set aside.
In a plastic ziplock bag combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Add the oil and shake.
Place the egg white in another ziplock bag. Add all the mushrooms and shake until all are coated with egg white. Place all the mushrooms in the bag with the crumb mixture and shake.


Place the mushrooms in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle any remaining crumbs over the mushrooms.
Bake the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


A T-bone steak is a prime cut of beef that gets its name from the T-shaped bone that divides it. It is cut from a cross-section of the strip loin and the tenderloin, two of the most tender sections of beef.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound bone-in T-bone steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

A half-hour before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator. Dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

To Pan Sear

Heat a cast iron or large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add oil to the hot skillet and when it begins to smoke add the steak. Reduce heat slightly and cook steak until browned, about 4 minutes on each side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium-rare.

To Grill

Preheat an outdoor grill. Whether you’re using a charcoal, gas, or electric grill, get it heated to about 500ºF (260ºC). Coat the steak with the olive oil. Place the steak in the hottest part of the grill, usually the middle. For rare, cook it for 2 minutes on each side and then move it to the cooler part of the grill, usually the edges, for another 6-8 minutes. For medium rare add 1-3 minutes and for medium add 3-5 minutes to the total cooking time.

To Broil

Turn on the broiler and heat to about 550ºF (290ºC). Also, position the top rack 5 inches (12 cm) from the top of the broiler. Coat the steak with the olive oil. Place the steak in a grill pan or broiler pan and place the pan on the top rack of the preheated broiler. For rare, close the door and allow the steak to cook for 4 minutes, turn the steak over and cook for another 4 minutes. For medium rare, add 1-3 minutes and for medium, add 3-5 minutes, to the total cooking time.

To Sear-Roast

Turn on the oven and heat to 450ºF (230ºC). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or another heavy pan on a stovetop burner, over high heat. Place the steak in the hot pan once the oil begins to smoke. Reduce heat and sear on each side for 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the burner and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for 6-8 minutes.

Reverse Sear

Preheat oven to 275°F. Place steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the hot oven. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 10°F lower than your desired final temperature. Remove and let steaks rest for 5 minutes, covering lightly with foil. Preheat a heavy skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Add the oil and sear steaks for one minute each side.

To Finish

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut steak from the bone and carve meat across the grain. Add a topping if desired.

Toppings:

Cook a sliced onion in butter until soft and golden. Pour over sliced steak and serve.

Make a flavored butter and pour over the finished steak before serving.

Grill whole mushrooms and place them in a dish with melted garlic butter. Pour over the finished steak.

Cooking Guide

Gas Grill Charcoal Grill
Rare

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

8-11 mins

12-15 mins

 

8-11 mins

12-15 mins

Medium-Rare

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

10-13 mins

14-17 mins

 

10-13 mins

14-17 mins

Medium

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

11-14 mins

15-18 mins

 

11-14 mins

15-18 mins

Medium-Well

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

13-16 mins

17-20 mins

 

13-16 mins

17-20 mins

Skillet Broil
Rare

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

11-13 mins

13-15 mins

 

11-13 mins

14-16 mins

Medium-Rare

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

13-15 mins

15-17 mins

 

13-15 mins

16-18 mins

Medium

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

14-16 mins

16-18 mins

 

14-16 mins

17-19 mins

Medium-Well

1 inch

1 1/2 inches

 

16-18 mins

18-20 mins

 

16-18 mins

19-21 mins


Mushroom Bisque

Ingredients

2 pounds mushrooms (button/cremini), roughly chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts homemade or store-bought beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend, recipe below
3 tablespoons butter
5-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Homemade Croutons, recipe below

Directions

Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes). Add in the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the chopped mushrooms and the thyme Cook until the mushrooms release some of the water content, stirring frequently about 10 minutes.

Next, add the beef broth, all-purpose seasoning blend, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook this mixture for an additional 15 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Remove the thyme sprigs. Blend the soup using an immersion blender. Add the cream and heat over low. Serve with croutons.

All-Purpose No-Salt Seasoning Mix

Ingredients

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons dried savory
1 1/4 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

Mix garlic powder, basil, parsley, savory, thyme, mace, onion powder, black pepper, sage, and cayenne pepper in a bowl; store in a sealed jar.

Homemade Croutons

ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Pinch salt
6 slices day-old bread, cubed

Directions

In an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan, combine the butter, oil, and seasonings. Heat in a 300° F oven until butter is melted. Remove from the oven; stir to combine.


Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Ham Salad

Ingredients

3 cups finely diced leftover baked ham
2 hard-boiled eggs finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Ground black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until completely combined. Cover and chill until serving time.

Serve on a salad plate over shredded lettuce or on a sandwich made with pumpernickel bread.


Pork
2 boneless loin pork chops, about 1 inch thick, all fat removed
2-3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Vegetables
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large white mushrooms, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

Sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Noodles, 3-4 oz uncooked

Directions
Pat the chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour with the Italian seasoning. Coat the pork chops in the flour mixture.
Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to serving platter and tent with foil.


Cook the noodles according to package instructions.


Add mushrooms and zucchini to the skillet and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, cream, roasted peppers, and Parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Add the pork chops back to the skillet and heat.


Serve over cooked noodles.


Italian Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
One 26-28 ounce container Italian diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano
Salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan.
Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Then, stir in the broth and undrained tomatoes, bay leaves, herbs, salt to taste and red pepper. Cover with the lid ajar and simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until the sauce is very thick, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.

Chicken Fontina

Ingredients

2 large boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
All-Purpose or low carb flour
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, made from regular or low carb bread
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large slices Italian Fontina cheese
Italian Tomato Mushroom Sauce, recipe above.

Directions

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the pounded chicken breasts in flour. Dip in the beaten egg white and then into the bread crumbs. Press the crumbs onto the breasts. Place the breaded cutlets on a plate and refrigerate for several hours.


In a large skillet with a cover heat the butter and oil. Add the cutlets and brown on both sides.

Cover each breast with tomato mushroom sauce and a 1 1/2 slices of cheese. Cover the skillet and heat until the cheese begins to melt.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

Serves 4

1 pound medium asparagus, woody stalks removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
l garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the asparagus with oil in a large baking dish.
Roast for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the minced garlic and lemon zest on the asparagus and roast an additional 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt & pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


As of January 2018, the largest population of French American people live in the state of Maine. French Americans also live in Louisiana where the largest French-speaking population in the U.S. is found in St. Martin Parish. Country-wide, there are about 10.4 million U.S. residents that declare French ancestry or French Canadian descent, and about 1.32 million speak French at home as of the 2010 census. An additional 750,000 U.S. residents speak a French-based creole language.

Maine Farmers

Creole Musicians

While Americans of French descent make up a substantial percentage of the American population, French Americans are less visible than other similarly sized ethnic groups. This is due in part to a tendency of French American groups to identify more closely with “New World” regional identities such as Acadian, Brayon, Cajun, or Louisiana Creole. Unlike other immigrants who came to the United States from other countries, some French Americans arrived prior to the founding of the United States. In many parts of the country, like the Midwest and Louisiana, they were the founders of some of the villages and cities and were often the state’s first inhabitants.

New Orleans French Quarter

French immigrants introduced a wide range of interesting foods to America. For example, French Americans made the first yeast bread and brought technical farming skills that vastly improved American rice and wine. Huguenots grew and prepared the first okra, artichokes, and tomatoes. The popularity of French cuisine took off in the 1780s, following the alliance between France and the United States during the American Revolution. Many respected French chefs, such as Arthur Goussé in Los Angeles, immigrated to the United States and established restaurants. A number of French culinary terms remain prominent in modern times, including bouillon, purée, fricassée, mayonnaise, pâté, hors d’oeuvres, bisque, filet, sauté, casserole, au gratin, and à la mode.

Extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes form the basis of Provencal cuisine. This trio appears in sauces, soups, and salads, and as companions for dozens of fish, pasta and meat courses. The combo is often enhanced with fresh herbs, including parsley, oregano, fennel, basil and rosemary, as well as black Nicoise olives, capers, shallots or leeks. The stew below is classic French cuisine where beef and vegetables are simmered in red wine.

Slow-Cooked Provençal Beef Stew

Serve the stew with homemade biscuits.

Bouquet Garni
2 scallion tops (about 6 inches long)
1 bay leaf
1 medium celery stalk
2 sprigs fresh parsley, with stems
3 sprigs fresh thyme
One 2-inch-long strip orange peel

Stew
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces bacon
2 pounds beef stew meat, such as chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 large, red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 pound mixed mushrooms (I used portabella and cremini), halved if small, quartered if large
1/2 bottle (375 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir
2 cups of water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated zest of 1/2 orange

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

To assemble the bouquet garni: Place one scallion top on the counter. Top with bay leaf, celery stalk, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and orange peel. Place the second scallion leaf on top and tie the bundle together in four spots with kitchen string. Set aside.

To prepare the stew: Place the bacon in an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until barely brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving any drippings in the pot. When cool break into small pieces.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add half the beef cubes (do not crowd the pot) and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Repeat with the second batch of meat, salt, and pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the beef.

Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; set aside.

Pour wine and water into the pot and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Return the browned beef, the carrot mixture and the reserved bacon to the pot. Press down on the beef and vegetables, making sure to submerge them completely in the liquid; if necessary, add just enough hot water to make sure they are covered. Place the bouquet garni on top.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the pot and press it directly on top of the stew, covering it completely. Transfer the stew to the oven and cook, with the lid off, until the beef is tender enough to cut with a fork, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Check every hour to be sure the ingredients stay submerged in liquid during the entire cooking time. If too much wine evaporates, add a little hot water to make up for the loss. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in the reserved mushrooms.
Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Combine chopped parsley and orange zest in a small bowl and scatter on top of the stew just before serving.



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