Hearty Beef & Barley Soup



Lessons Learned

  • I doubled the barley and was out of carrots but I used balsamic vinegar
  • I would use stewing beef next time

Beef Cheeks

4 beef cheeks, about 1 lb (500 g)
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
1 leek (white only), chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 each, black peppercorns, whole cloves and whole allspice
1 tbsp (20 ml) tomato purée
3/4 cup (190 ml) full-bodied red wine
2 cup (500 ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (130 ml) sultana raisins
1/2 cup (130 ml) Celery Root Purée

1 garlic clove, smashed
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 lb (900 g) peeled celery root cut into 1-in (2-cm) pieces
4 cup (1000 ml) milk


1) Pre-heat oven to 325 F (160 C). Pat beef cheeks dry and season with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of oil, add beef cheeks and cook, in batches, turning halfway, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove and set aside.
2) Add remaining oil to pan and add vegetables and garlic. Cook until golden. Add thyme, peppercorns, cloves and allspice, stirring to combine with vegetables. Stir in tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes.
3) Pour red wine into pan and stir, scraping bottom. Add beef cheeks and pour enough chicken stock to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and almost falling apart. Remove, let cool slightly and shred meat. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
4) Pour sauce into a fine mesh strainer set over a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, add raisins and cook until sauce has reduced by half.
5) Place a pastry ring in middle of a plate and add Celery Root Purée. Add shredded cheeks and top with sauce. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

1) Place garlic and thyme in a piece of cheesecloth, tie with kitchen twine to enclose. Place in a medium saucepan along with celery root and enough milk to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until celery root is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
2) Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl, reserving ½ cup (125 ml) of milk and discarding cheesecloth bundle. Process celery root and milk in a blender in batches. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

From here: http://www.bcliquorstores.com/recipe/food/beef-cheeks

Pork Cheeks


8 pork cheeks (about 1 lb – 500 g)
1 each, medium carrot, small onion, medium celery stalk, red apple, coarsely chopped
2 sage leaves
1/3 cup (80 ml) Calvados
2 tsp (10 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 cup (500 ml) chicken stock


1) Pre-heat oven to 325 F (160C). Pat pork cheeks dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

2) In a saucepan, heat oil. Add pork cheeks, cook in batches, turning halfway, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove and set aside.

3) Add carrot, onion, celery and apple and cook until lightly browned. Add sage leaves, Calvados and apple cider vinegar, simmer until reduced by half. Add pork and enough stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and cover. Transfer to oven and cook for 1½ to 2 hours or until very tender. Remove pork and reserve.

4) Bring braising liquid to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, or until reduced by half. Strain liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until reduced by half again. To serve, either shred or slice the pork cheeks, add sauce and seasonal vegetables.

From: http://www.bcliquorstores.com/recipe/food/pork-cheeks

Sunday, March 12: Cross Rib Roast

Simple but it worked!


    • 2 lbs cross-rib roasts
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Brush roast with balsamic vinegar.
  2. Make a paste with remaining ingredients and apply to meat.
  3. Roast meat at 450 for 15 minutes Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 40 o 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 125.
  4. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 25 minutes.


I had a nice roast beef supper and then roast beef for lunch all week.

Braised Chicken Legs in Sauerkraut

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart:

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 4


  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken legs
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups store-bought sauerkraut


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken on all sides with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; swirl in oil. Add chicken and cook until browned, about 4 minutes a side. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Add onion to skillet. Cook, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in carrots and sauerkraut until well combined.

  3. Transfer sauerkraut mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Nestle chicken legs in mixture, cover with parchment-lined foil, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 425 degrees, and bake until top is lightly caramelized and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken legs (without touching bone) registers 165 degrees, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

No-Stir Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, cooked and drained
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 small or 1 1/2 medium hothouse tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Stir in the honey until it has dissolved. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions (al dente), then drain and rinse under cool water.

Create a bottom layer in a 2 1/2-quart-capacity casserole or baking dish using one-third of the cooked macaroni. Scatter half the bacon pieces over the macaroni, then sprinkle evenly with some of the pepper and half the cheese. Use another third of the macaroni to create the next layer, then scatter the remaining cheese evenly over it. Sprinkle more of the pepper over the cheese.

Next, layer the remaining macaroni, then the remaining bacon and more pepper. Use your hands to gently compress the mixture if its height has risen above the rim of the casserole. Top with sliced tomatoes; depending on their size, you may or may not be able to cover the casserole.

Combine the milk and cream in a large liquid measuring cup, then pour evenly over the casserole. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining pepper.

Bake (middle rack) for 30 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese has melted. Serve hot.