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Winter Comfort Foods From Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston

If the winter weather is going to keep you inside, you might as well eat good! Celebrity chef Melissa Cookston’s new and delicious comfort recipes are sure to keep you warm this winter season and are easy to make in the coziness of your home!


Taken from Cookston’s website, the below recipes for Beef Bourguignon and Winter Pork Stew will help you prepare delicious recipes in the comfort of your own home and stay warm this winter!


Beef Bourguignon

Beef bourguignon has kind of fallen out of favor over the last years, but I’m ready to tell you it’s time to make a comeback for this comfort food classic. Beef bourguignon encompasses everything I love about great comfort foods; ultra-rich flavor, that feeling of eating a classic dish on a crisp night, and a wonderful beefy flavor. Best of all, while it may take a while to cook, it’s very easy to make!


For this dish, I used “steak trim” from my friends at Mishima Reserve. Steak trim is basically what it says: the trim leftover from when the butchers are cutting steaks. This would be similar to “stew meat” that you may buy at your local grocery store, except it’s from Mishima Reserve American Wagyu Beef and it’s ridiculously tender. These bites literally melted in my mouth, without that “dry” feeling that you can get with braised stew meat. Amazing. (Use code MELISSA for 10% off if you purchase anything from Mishima!)


Really, it’s quite a simple recipe. In the fall and winter, my Dutch ovens get a workout before they go on a nice summer vacation in the cabinet. I used my favorite one for this recipe, and it turned out perfect.


It’s Wine Time!

Beef bourguignon, aka Beef Burgundy, is basically braised in a red wine-beef stock mixture, with emphasis on the red wine. That’s fine with me, as an excuse to have a nice glass of red wine is welcome! Please, please don’t use a terrible wine in this dish. People think “cooking wine” can be the bottom of the barrel. That is simply not true. If you wouldn’t drink the wine by the glass, you shouldn’t cook with it either. Traditionally, full-bodied red wine from the Burgundy region is used from this dish, but I use whatever red wine I’m favoring at the time, usually an Italian. Mmm, wine time is good on a chilly evening! You will need a Dutch oven (or something as similar as possible) for this recipe.


Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:

- 2 pounds steak trim

- 1 cup chopped celery

- 1 cup chopped carrots

- 1 medium white onion, diced

- 4 bay leaves

- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

- 1 tablespoons minced garlic

- 1 tablespoons Kosher salt, divided, plus to taste

- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, divided, plus to taste

- 8 ounces beef stock

- 1/3 cup AP flour

- 3/4 bottle of good red wine that you love

- 6 sprigs thyme


Add 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/4 tablespoons pepper to flour and stir. Put into a resealable bag and add beef trim. Shake to fully coat.


Heat Dutch oven on medium high. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and beef trim to Dutch oven and brown. Remove from Dutch oven.


Add other 2 tsp of olive oil, and add carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves and garlic. Cook until onions are getting translucent- 8-10 minutes. Deglaze with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to free up the frond. Cook 8 minutes or until wine is reduced by a third. Add beef stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.


Add beef trim back to mixture, cover and place in oven for two and half to three hours, or until beef is amazingly tender and stock has reduced. Serve with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable.


Winter Pork Stew

A few days ago, I had plans to cook a Boston butt for a friend (of course, it was going to be a Prairie Fresh Pork Butt.) Well, plans get changed as they had to go out of town. A cold snap had developed, and I love comfort food in the cold weather, so I made this winter pork stew recipe. It was so silky, flavorful and satisfying. I just love making it.

Braising

I have kind of gravitated to braising when I’m looking for that food hug that helps get through the chilly nights. Braising turns tough meat into delicious, moist meat, just like a low-and-slow BBQ will do. Using tough pieces of meat, braising and smoking break down the connective tissue and collagens in the meat to give you that tender, supple texture and flavor that we all love.


Red Wine for Winter

Another thing that makes this a favorite is I love foods cooked with red wine. I call for half a bottle for this recipe, which should really leave you two nice glasses of wine for yourself! And don’t go cheap on cooking wine- if you wouldn’t drink a glass of it, you shouldn’t cook with it either. I have really grown to love Italian wines, and a Rosso Toscana, a rustic chianti or similar full-bodied Italian red, will work well in this dish.


Easy to Make

This is really a dish that will take you a few minutes to prep the veggies, a few minutes to start the cooking, then a long time of smelling a wonderful aroma. It’s very easy, and similar in procedure and process to other braised beef dishes. Flour and brown the pork, cook down some veggies, add tomato paste, deglaze with wine, then braise. The time it will take you from start to getting it in the oven will be around 20-30 minutes, depending on how quick you are with a knife. After that, it’s simply waiting for that tenderness to get there, about 3 to 3-1/2 hours.


Winter Pork Stew

Ingredients:

- 2 pounds Boston butt, trimmed and cut into small pieces

- 1 cup beef stock

- 1/2 bottle good red wine

- 1 yellow onion, diced

- 1 bell pepper, diced

- 2 stalks celery, diced

- 1/2 cup shredded carrots

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1/4 cup cooking oil, divided

- 1/2 cup flour

- 3 tablespoons tomato paste

- 2 tablespoons salt

- 1 tablespoon pepper

- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika

- 1 cup cooked egg noodles, per person

- 2 bay leaves

- 4 stems Italian parsley

- 4 sprigs thyme


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a Dutch oven, heat half of your oil. Working in batches, lightly flour pork pieces then brown. Remove and set aside. Use remaining oil as needed.


Add onions, celery, carrots and bell pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until getting soft and translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and bay leaves and cook for 4 minutes. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until reduced by half.


Add pork back to pan along with salt, pepper and paprika. Tie parsley and thyme together and add to pot. Add beef stock, and water if necessary, to get liquid to top level of pork. Place in oven and cook for 3 hours or until super tender. Remove, adjust seasonings, and serve over egg noodles.

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