winter cooking & what’s cooking in my kitchen…read and discover

It’s a cold, crisp winter day, and we even had snow flurries this morning. So it’s time for some winter cooking.

My vegetable box this week had some really nice potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots. I had four good size slices of beef shin in my freezer that I had been thawing this week. So that’s basically what dinner is tonight: beef shins in red wine, garlic, beef broth, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, and some herbs and spices.

The spices are used in addition to garlic, salt and pepper are Herbes de Provence and an Ethiopian spice mix called Berbere. I also added a few sprigs of rosemary from my greenhouse. My greenhouse isn’t heated so I am thrilled it’s still alive.

I started with searing the beef shins in my big Dutch oven. Before I added the meat I had put into the pan some olive oil, a couple of dashes of teriyaki sauce, Berbere, and garlic powder. The beef shins had been drenched in flour and salted a little bit. I added a little red wine and let that cook off as I was searing.

After the beef shins were seared I moved them to a big metal bowl and deglazed my pan with some more red wine. I then added my chopped carrots, onion, celery, and mushrooms. I seasoned them just a smidge added a little bit of Herbes de Provence. I let the vegetables cook down a bit and then it was time for the final step before putting them in the oven. The oven had been preheating at 300°F.

Before I added the beef shins back to the Dutch oven I added two small cans of tomatoes. The tomatoes were chopped and 14 ounce cans. The brand is Mutti. I also had a can of Campbell’s beef consommé sitting in my cupboard and then I added two more cups of beef broth.

I added back the beef shins and I actually had to pull out 2 cups of liquid for the time being and put it in a measuring cup because the Dutch oven was just so full. I added the two sprigs of rosemary. Everything is now covered and doing the low and slow dance for a few hours in my 300° preheated oven.

I will serve with smashed red bliss potatoes.

People always ask what cookware I use besides my vintage Dansk. I use cookware from a really awesome female owned company called Great Jones. I saw them a few years ago on a segment on cooking by the Today Show, tried them and have been using them ever since. I really like them. The Dutch oven is 6.75 quarts and solid cast iron and it’s called the Duchess. I will warn you the one thing I don’t like about it is how heavy it is but it’s great to cook with especially for a recipe like this.

Please note I am not compensated by Great Jones to write about their cookware. I just happened to own it and love it.

This isn’t a recipe that I have written down anywhere. It just sort of came together in my head this morning when I was thinking about what I was going to do with the beef shins. The mushrooms I like to use are the baby Bella. I am just not a white mushroom person unless it’s a salad. And seriously it’s so easy to throw things together. You don’t always need a set in stone recipe, just wing it.

What’s cooking in your kitchen on this winter’s day?

yes, semi-homemade…split pea soup with ham!

The weather said split pea soup with ham.

The soup is made using green and yellow split peas.

It’s made from part of a ham I had leftover and a ham bone (I always save the ham bones and toss them in the freezer for occasions just like this one), chopped celery, a chopped onion, a chopped bunch of carrots, two bay leaves, fresh herbs which are still growing in the garden.

I didn’t have any bone broth made so I simply used one salt free beef broth and two vegetable broth. Each container is 32 ounces so it gives me enough liquid as per the instructions on the bags of dried split peas. That is your semi-homemade component for this soup.

How you put it together is first you sauté your diced up vegetables in a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil with some salt. Then you add the ham and the hambone. Then you add your fresh herbs – in my case it was sage and thyme and even a little rosemary. Then I added the dried peas, and after that, the broth.

Now it’s just perking along on the stove at a super low temperature. After a while I will turn it off and let it cool down and see where I am.

For those of you who know I like Great Jones pots this is their big stock pot.

Bon appétit!