Flank steak, roasted duck fat fingerling potatoes, wilted ramps with pancetta, red wine and balsamic vinegar pan sauce

Flank steak roasted duck fat fingerling potatoes wilted ramps with pancetta red wine and balsamic vinegar pan sauce

ramps 2014This was all about the ramps. Yum! If you’ve never had them, they are sort of a cross between green garlic and green onions. The mouth feel is creamy and the flavor is very bold. Ramps are very hard to find and are only available for a short part of the spring. I found mine back in the spring at a cool little grocery store here in Greenville, Swamp Rabbit Grocery. If you can’t find ramps, you could substitute mustard or collard greens.

Flank is one of my favorite cuts. They are delicious, easy to find and very flavorful. I baked my potatoes after tossing in lovely duck fat (the best).

Funny, I made the recipe you are reading first back in the spring, but since then I recreated (and posted) a similar recipe (Flank Steak, Roasted Sage and Duck Fat Potatoes, Sautéed Kale and Blueberry Balsamic Jus).

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1 bag fingerling potatoes, sliced into coins
  • 1 punch ramps, trimmed
  • 1 ¼ inch think cut of pancetta, cubed
  • 1-2 tablespoons duck fat
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Bold red wine (I used a Petite Sirah)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions

  1. Set the steak out and allow it to come to room temperature (or close). Season with salt and pepper liberally.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 and place lined sheet pan in the middle rack.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium high.
  4. Toss in the duck fat and allow it to melt. Add potatoes, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Empty the pan onto the sheet pan in the oven and allow to roast at least 15 minutes. After 15-20 minutes, flip the potatoes on the other side and cook until crispy.
  5. Heat a large stainless steel pan over medium high.
  6. Add the steak to the stainless steel pan. Sear steak both sides 4-5 minutes per side until your preferred doneness. I like them rare. Once done, remove from the pan to a cutting board, cover with tin foil and allow to rest for a least 10 minutes.
  7. In the same non-stick pan, over medium heat, render the pancetta until crispy. Add ramps and toss until the white part is softened a bit and the greens are slightly wilted. Don’t overcook.
  8. Finally, heat the stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the goodies the steak left behind. Increase heat and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and allow to reduce and thicken. Strain the reduction into a smaller pot and keep warm. Enjoy.
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Flank steak, roasted duck fat fingerling potatoes, wilted ramps with pancetta, red wine and balsamic vinegar pan sauce

Flank Steak, Roasted Sage and Duck Fat Potatoes, Sautéed Kale and Blueberry Balsamic Jus

flank steak with sage duck fat potatoes sauteed kale blueberry balsamic jus

Flank steak is one of my favorite steaks. Reasonably priced and if prepared correctly, delicious. Also, duck fat.

Our sage plant in our herb garden decided this year to go nuclear. It is out of control. The base looks like a tree trunk. Anyway, I really needed to use some sage and potatoes are always my first thought. Also, duck fat.

The blueberries came from our CSA and I just thought they would go well with the balsamic. I wish I would have used good fresh kale but I didn’t I used the big bagged, chopped kind. It still turned out ok.

All and all, I liked this one. What’s not to like. Duck fat.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1 bag fingerling potatoes
  • 1 large bag kale (or fresh if you have it)
  • 1-2 tablespoons duck fat
  • 4-5 sprigs sage, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-2 teaspoons crush red pepper flake
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups no sodium chick stock
  • Balsamic vinegar
Directions

  1. Set the steak out and allow it to come to room temperature (or close). Season with salt and pepper liberally.
  2. A cut and par-boil potatoes just until a sharp knife goes through the outside easily. Drain and let cool.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 and place lined sheet pan in the middle rack.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium high.
  5. Toss in the duck fat and allow it to melt. Add potatoes, sea salt, pepper and sage and toss to coat. Empty the pan onto the sheet pan in the oven and allow to roast at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, toss the potatoes on the other side and cook until crispy.
  6. Heat a large stainless steel pan over medium high.
  7. Separately, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat (I used the same one I used for the potatoes). Once warm add olive oil with garlic and crushed red. Allow the oil to perfume but don’t burn the garlic. Next add kale, season with salt and toss until all the kale is in the pan. Add stock, reduce the heat, cover and cook 15 minutes or until the kale is cooked through but still has some crunch.
  8. Add the steak to the stainless steel pan. Sear steak both sides 4-5 minutes per side until your preferred doneness. I like them rare. Once done, remove from the pan to a cutting board, cover with tin foil and allow to rest for a least 10 minutes.
  9. Finally, heat the stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar, chicken stock and blueberries. Deglaze the pan, scraping up all the goodies the steak left behind. Increase heat and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and allow to reduce and thicken. Strain the reduction into a smaller pot and keep warm.
Flank Steak, Roasted Sage and Duck Fat Potatoes, Sautéed Kale and Blueberry Balsamic Jus

Coq Au Vin, Smashed White Cheese Potatoes, Asparagus and Haricot Verts

coq au vin smashed potatoes haricot verts asparagus2

I love red wine + I love braising things + Chicken can be bland = Coq Au Vin.

What a great way to cook chicken. This meal came about because the temperature is dipping down and I’m craving comfort food. I’d already done the braised beef short ribs the week before so chicken sounded good. The chicken recipe is an adaptation of Ina Garten’s. I think her recipes tend to be a bit oily because of too much fat (butter, bacon, oil), hence the tweaks.

The smashed potatoes recipe is something I make all the time and I tweak every time I make it. The 7 cheese Italian blend adds a nice richness and body that I lose some of by using the 2% milk and olive oil rather than heavy cream and butter. I also like to leave the skins of the potatoes on. I love the texture and the nutrients they provide.

I’ve been craving asparagus and I always love steamed French green beans. The vegetables add a crisp and light contrast to the rich chicken and potatoes.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, cut in pieces (most grocery stores sell already cut)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut in lardon (I prefer Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large carrots, cleaned and cut on the bias in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 chopped and 2 smashed
  • ¼ cup Courvoisier (or other cognac or brandy)
  • ½ bottle dry red wine (I used a petite syrah)
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping tablespoon AP flour
  • ½ pound frozen small whole onions
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes (use whatever kind you have)
  • 1-2 cups milk (we use 2%)
  • 1-2 cups shredded Italian 7 cheese blend (use whatever cheese you like)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bunch green beans (I use the French ones because I like them but use what you have)
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add bacon and cook until rendered. Remove with slotted spoon are reserve.
  3. In the meanwhile, season chicken parts with salt and pepper. Once the bacon is done, sear the chicken starting skin side down. Do this in batches as to not over crowd. Once done, set aside to the same plate as the bacon.
  4. Add carrots and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are browned. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute).
  5. Add Cognac, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add bacon and chicken along with any juices from the plate.
  6. Add red wine, chicken stock and thyme (just leave it on the stem, you can remove later). Cover with tight fitted lid and place in oven for 30 minutes.
  7. While you wait, heat a large pot of water to a boil and steam the green beans and asparagus. I did them separate to keep the flavors distinguished. Don’t overcook. Remove and place in ice bath or rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  8. With the same pot, add the smashed garlic and potatoes and cook until tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander. In the empty pot add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the potatoes and garlic and toss to combine. Add milk and using a smasher, smash potatoes to the consistency you like (just leave the garlic in, it usually dissolves right in). Add cheese and stir to combine. Cover and leave on low heat. Before serving add more milk if the potatoes are too thick.
  9. Remove the pot from the oven. Mash the butter with the flour and mix into the stew. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Heat a sauté pan and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook mushroom until browned. Add to stew.
  11. If you like your green beans and asparagus warn, then add them to the empty sauté pan and toss until just warmed through.
  12. To serve, add a pile of smashed potatoes, add the asparagus and green beans, add chicken and top with the cooking liquid, carrots, mushrooms and onions.

coq au vinFrench chicken braised in wine
Dutch oven perferct for braising chicken in wine
Coq Au Vin, Smashed White Cheese Potatoes, Asparagus and Haricot Verts

Pan Roasted Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple Jus

Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple JusI love pork chops. They are usually pretty cheap, they are easy to cook and they are delicious. Being from the south, I grew up with pork chops, collard greens and black eyed peas. The greens would be stewed all day and would smell like…well, like sulphur (I just edited what I really wanted to say). I would pour vinegar on the greens and hot sauce or ketchup on the black eyed peas (still do on New Years).

On a trip to Whole Foods they had some beautiful dandelion greens and the pork chops were on sale so I snagged them. Instead of the blacked peas I decided on whipped potatoes and I thought a nice sauce to pour over the whole mess would be on point. I came up with Pan Roasted Pork Chops, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with an Apple Jus.

The pork chops are super easy with just salt and pepper. I personally would rather the pork be a little pink in the middle then dry. The dandelion greens are the most bitter green you can get (or at least the most bitter I’ve had). I tried to balance out the bitterness with all the other ingredients plus the braising process really cuts some of that bitterness. On the potatoes, when I got home from the store I realized I had no heavy cream which I would normally use with the whipped potatoes, so I used milk and ricotta cheese.

This meal turned out well. It was pretty easy, quick and very filling. The pork chop and dandelion greens were perfect and the potatoes were…OK. I think ricotta wouldn’t be my choice again but they were OK and I am glad I tried it.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Large bone in pork chops
  • 1 Large bunch of dandelion greens
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion (I used white, but whatever you like)
  • 3 Garlic clove, 1 minced, 2 peeled
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/2 Cup apple juice
  • 1/2 Cup chicken stock
  • 1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-4 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
DIRECTIONS

  1. Set pork out and let it come to room temperature.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and drop in two whole peeled garlic cloves. Peel and cut potatoes into quarter inch cubes. Place in the water and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender and drain water. At this point you can either remove the garlic or leave it in, I like to leave it in. I have a ricer that I pass my potatoes through in order to get them smooth but you could use a food mill, immersion blender, food processor or a regular blender. I really like my ricer, it makes the potatoes very smooth. If you don’t have any of those items you could use a potato masher or a fork and whisk.
  3. Set heat to low and pour in milk, ricotta cheese and butter. Mix together, season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm. Before serving check to make sure the potatoes have not dried out. If need be, add more milk or stock.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a tight fitting top over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and wait for it to ripple (I usually render out a couple strips of bacon and use that fat, but I was good here). Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and pepper flake and sauté for 30 seconds then add dandelion greens. Toss the greens until wilted and add 1/2 apple juice, 1/2 chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer until most of the liquid is gone, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add more liquid if need be. Turn greens occasionally. The last few minutes remove the top. Before serving, add a table spoon or two of apple cider vinegar.
  5. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Now you can if you prefer, you can cook at medium heat until it reaches appropriate doneness. I prefer to searer the meat on both sides and finish in the oven. For that my method, pre-heat oven to 400°. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and searer both sides of the meat . Once the pork has a good searer place in the oven until it reaches doneness. The Food & Drug Administration recommends pork is done at 160°. I usually cook mine to 145° because I am a rebel.
  6. When the pork is done, remove from the pan and let rest. Put the hot pan back on the burner over medium-high heat. Add the remaining apple juice and apple cider vinegar and de-glaze the pan, scrapping all the little bits of tastiness from the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I put extra pepper. Right before serving dump any juices that may have collected from the resting meat into the sauce.
Pan Roasted Pork Chop, Braised Dandelion Greens, Ricotta Whipped Potatoes with Apple Jus