Category Archives: Meat

Får-i-kål (Lamb in Cabbage Stew)

One of the most traditional dishes served in fall in Norway is the Lamb in Cabbage Stew.

It is delicious

INGREDIENTS
2,5 kg bony sheep meat and ribs (including fat and bones)
1,5 Cabbage heads (medium size)
Salt
Pepper
3 dl of water

Lay down meat and cabbage in layers in the pan. Add salt and pepper between the layers to your taste.

fårikål

Cook on low heat for 2 – 2,5 hours until meat is tender and cabbage is well done. Do not stir unless necessary.

Serve with potatoes

Enjoy!

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Moussaka – Classic Greek Moussaka with Eggplant

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.

It is perhaps the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes and was made famous by the legendary Greek chef, Nicholas Tselementes.

This eggplant version is the traditional rendition, however you can also layer in potatoes, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you prefer.  It’s hearty and filling so you won’t need many side dishes.

While it can be time consuming to prepare, I think you will find that once complete it is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggplants, about 4 lbs. total
  • 2 lb. potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or lamb)
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve yolks for bechamel)
  • 1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk, warmed
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Prep the Vegetables:
Using a sharp peeler, partially peel the eggplants, leaving strips of peel about 1 inch wide around the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch slices. 
Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally. The salt also helps to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant.
Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar. 
Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out. 
They will need to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably an hour. 

Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch. 
Drain, cool and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly grease.  Add a splash of water to the egg whites and beat them lightly with a fork.  Add breadcrumbs to a flat plate.

Rinse the eggplant slices and dry with paper towels.  Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg whites and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides.  Place breaded eggplant slices on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 an hour, turning them over once during cooking.

When eggplant is finished cooking, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Make the Meat Filling:

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef (or lamb) until the pink color disappears.  Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add wine to pan and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. It should be a drier, chunkier, tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. 

Make the Béchamel Sauce:

Melt butter over low heat.  Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste.  Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.

Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously.

Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in beaten egg yolks and pinch of nutmeg.  Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens.

Assemble the Moussaka:

Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan).  Sprinkle the bottom of pan with breadcrumbs.  Leaving a 1/4 inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. 
Top with a layer of eggplant slices.

Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese.
Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan.  Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. 

Allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

You can make this dish ahead up until the béchamel sauce and refrigerate.  Make the béchamel sauce right before you intend to bake it.

I originally found this recipe at About.com Greek Food.

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Thanksgiving Turkey

The Perfect Turkey There are many things one has to remember to get the perfectly cooked Turkey and one of the most common mistakes is to cook the Turkey too long which gives you a dry Turkey.

  • Make Sure your Turkey has reached room temperature before cooking
  1. If you bought your Turkey fresh from the Butcher (or the store) let it rest at least 4 hours in room temperature before you start cooking it.
  2. If your Turkey was frozen it can take as many as 2-3 days to defrost the Turkey depending on its size so make sure you take it up from the Freezer in due time. You can let it defrost in the fridge for 2 days and let it rest in room temperature the last 4-5 hours before cooking.

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  • Oven Preparations
  1. Pre Heat oven to 160 C Degrees.
  2. Prepare a Roasting Tin (Mine is big enough for the whole oven and square).
  3. Add about 4 dl of water in the Roasting tin so that the fat that drips from the Turkey won’t burn to the roasting tin while cooking. (This fat is also perfect to to the gravy for that extra flavor!)
  4. Place the roasting tin at the lowest point without touching the bottom.
  • Turkey Preparations
  1. Place Turkey on a grid iron.
  2. Fill the Turkey with the Stuffing.
  3. Brush the Turkey with melted butter and add salt and pepper.
  4. Insert the Gridiron with the Turkey just over the Roasting tin.

Calculate 30 minutes per kilo meat (Mine was 5.5 Kgs (about 10 pounds) so I cooked mine for 2,5 hours). Continue to brush the Turkey with melted butter every 30 minutes. If you are worried of overcooking the Turkey, you can use a roastmeat thermometer that you stick deep into the meat and let the Turkey cook until it reaches 63-65 C degrees. Another way of testing if it is done is to take the Turkey out of the oven and cut the meat between the leg and the chest with a sharp knife. If the meat juice that comes out is red’ish the Turkey is not done. If it is done the juice will be clear. When the Turkey is done cooking, let it rest for 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy : 20121231_192432 .

Best Turkey Stuffing Ever

Turkey Gravy

Duck risotto with mushrooms

When I was in Lyon, France in November 2012 I had a Duck Risotto at Bistro Le Bouchon aux vins. The taste of the Duck Risotto never left my mind and I really wanted to taste this delicious dish again.
I didn’t manage to make it exactly the same as in that Restaurant, but this recipe is nothing less than awesome itself…
Ingredients
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 600 ml  hot poultry stock
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamico
  • 2 duck breasts, about 340 g (12 oz) in total, skinned
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 340 g (12 oz) risotto rice
  • 10 grams Porcini / Cepes mushrooms
  • 500 grams mixed fresh mushrooms, such as Chanterelles, aroma mushrooms and champignons or other if you prefer that.
  • Parmesan cheese to your taste.

How to make the Duck Risotto

  • Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside. Strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add the stock and keep hot over a very low heat
  • Clean the Duck Breasts and cut the extra fat in small pieces
  • Brush 1 tsp of the oil over a ridged cast-iron grill pan and heat it. Add the duck breasts, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 8–12 minutes, turning once, until done to your taste. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the remaining oil in a wok like saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and fry gently for 4–5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the fat from the duck breasts and fry like bacon in the oil with the onion and garlic.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute to coat it with the oil.
  • Add the wine and bubble until it has almost all been absorbed. Stir in the thyme and basil, then add a ladleful the stock. Bubble, stirring frequently, until it has almost all been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Continue adding the stock gradually in this way – total cooking time will be 15–20 minutes. The risotto is ready when the rice is tender but still firm and the texture is moist and creamy.
  • Add the balsamico and the creme fraiche.
  • About 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil and the butter in a large frying pan. Add the fresh mushrooms and sautéover a high heat for 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir the mushrooms and the porcini / cepes into the risotto together with the duck and any duck juices. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and leave to stand off the heat for 5 minutes before serving.

Risotto