This dish is one of the most delicious things I have made in ages, and I am really proud of how the flavors came together. I had some purple potatoes in the fridge and decided they would make a gorgeous pommes d’Anna. I collected the duck fat from searing the duck and used it instead of butter in the potatoes. AMAZING!
I wanted to do something special for Valentine’s day, so I searched through my pantry for amazing ingredients to serve as inspiration. I saw my reserves of Porcini mushrooms and started thinking of something to pair it with. Remembering a beautiful Rabbit and Porcini Bourgignon I created last year, I decided to mushrooms with rabbit, but to go in the white wine direction. I purchased a big hunk of prosciutto from the market and I had a plan! A delicious slow cooked stew of rabbit and mushroom flavored by white wine and prosciutto would fit the bill!
One of the stars of our Catalan dinner was the Rabbit Paella with Artichokes. Many of the dishes on our menu were Pescatarian, a nod to the thriving fish markets in Barcelona and the whole Catalan region. To balance this out, I wanted to add some meat to our menu. Chicken seemed boring, and I have been cooking a lot of lamb of late, so I decided to go with some game. I couldn’t get my hands on more venison in time, so I decided to go for rabbit.
I have been holding onto a few pounds of oxtails in the freezer, waiting for a good recipe to turn them into. The time has finally come! I decided to cook my oxtails down into a beautiful stew with some leeks and onions.
I like to dredge any kind of shanks or boned meat in flour before browning it, I feel like it browns better and serves to thicken the stew as it cooks. This is almost a Bourgignion of sorts, but not quite. I de-glaze the vegetables with brandy and cook the stew with red wine, but I like the addition of leeks to the standard onion and carrots.
When we were travelling in Barcelona in December, I noticed that wild game was a frequent visitor on the menus in Catalan restaurants, and in the winter months, stews were a particular favorite. I was thinking that another mixture of meat and mushrooms were in order. I figured venison would go well with the earthiness of Porcini mushrooms, and to add a bit of spice and sweetness, I paired them with Chorizo.
I was spending the last few days of our winter vacation in Paris and chatting with friends to plan the de-installation of a show we were all participating in. My current location came to be the topic of conversation, and a dear friend reminisced about a Blanquette de Veau she ate at Auberge Bressane in Paris. Since the girls were spending the night this past weekend, I offered to make the dish for them.
When I was in Philadelphia last month, I bought a bit under a pound of prosciutto chunks…you know, just in case! I decided today was the day to use them. I was craving peas, and wanted to make a split pea soup. I did not have any smoked ham-hocks left, and have never liked the flavor of chunks of regular ham, so in went the prosciutto! Smoked meats give this soup a really lovely complex flavor.
Today, it is time for a Russian classic! In fact, when you think about Russian food, this dish is probably what you are picturing an older lady with a handkerchief covered head stirring with a large wooden spoon. Yes, borscht. It may or may not be a stereotype, but it is definitely a classic!