Tag Archives: Michael Smith

Slop, Sloppy Joes

13 Oct

It’s cooling off, thank goodness, which means I am back in the kitchen! The brutal heat of this Toronto summer kept me from really digging in and trying new dishes, often opting for easy sandwiches, wraps and salads that didn’t involve, y’know, moving or turning anything on. But all that is behind us now, so back to hanging out at the stove making tasty dishes!

This recipe makes an enormous pot of Sloppy Joes, one of my favourite things to eat when I was younger. When we were kids, my grandmother would make them when we were up at the cottage and it was such fun to eat this messy, saucy sandwich! It fed a whole whack of grandkids and this recipe will certainly feed a hungry crowd with leftovers. I froze what we didn’t eat in the first couple of days for handy weeknight oh-man-what-am-I-gonna-feed-this-family moments.

Ingredients

2 tb vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
2 sweet peppers, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 heaping tb of chili powder
2 tb cumin
1 tb salt
2 packages ground beef
2 796ml cans diced tomatoes
2 156ml cans tomato paste
1 tb red wine vinegar

rolls, hamburger buns
hot sauce, optional
shredded cheese, optional

Directions

1. Heat the oil in the largest pot you have to medium heat. A Dutch oven would be perfect for this, but a pasta pot would do!
2. Toss in the onion, garlic, peppers and celery. Cook until softened, occasionally stirring, roughly 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavours to brighten.
4. Add the two packages of ground beef, breaking it up as you go. You don’t want to brown the meat here as it will only make it tough, so make sure you keep stirring things around.
5. Once all the pink is gone from the beef, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Give everything a good stir and simmer for a few more minutes. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Pile a heaping scoop – or two – on to a soft bun. Top with hot sauce and/or shredded cheese if you so desire!

joes

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Braised Pork Stew

27 Jan

Because I just can’t stop buying cookbooks, Michael Smith’s latest, Family Meals, has appeared on my shelf. I’ve always liked Smith: he was my gateway into cooking fish for the first time and his recipes (while sometimes a bit short on the salt for my taste) never fail me. I like his philosophy that a recipe is simply somewhere to start, a thing to be played with, an idea upon which to expound. I feel the same way: when I come across a new recipe, I’ll generally leave the fundamentals alone but will alter things like seasoning and heat levels to suit my taste.

This particular book has some fantastic slow cooker recipes and quite a few vegetarian recipes that look enticing. I tried out the slow-cooked pork shoulder stew this weekend it’s a keeper. We added a few dashes of hot sauce to our bowls but kept it out of the main pot to avoid burning foodNURDling’s little tongue. It’s a simple recipe that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients. It’s hearty, filling and healthy. This recipe also makes a TON so you will definitely have leftovers. Cook once, eat many times. Works for me.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3lb pork shoulder, halved
salt & pepper
2 tb vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 ts dried thyme and/or rosemary
2 ts salt
7c water
1c white wine (or, if you don’t want to use alcohol, skip it and add 8 cups of water instead of splitting it)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (a Dutch oven is perfect) to medium-high heat. Add the oil and watch for it become shimmery. Season the pork generously with salt & pepper and the two pieces of pork to the pan, searing on all sides until nicely browned.
3. Add in the celery, potatoes, carrots, onions, herbs, salt and liquid. Bring to a simmer. Cover with  a tightly-fitting lid and place in the oven for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove the pot from the oven. The pork will now be fork-tender; shred or cube the meat. Serve and enjoy!

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