Browsing Category

Meaty Mainstays

Meaty Mainstays

Kirk Douglas’ Favorite Meatloaf

February 5, 2020

Before there was Michael Douglas, there was Kirk Douglas, Michael’s 1940s matinee-idol father.  If it weren’t for Ant Man, in which Michael had a nice role, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which my son Noah considers “epic” for its special effects (first sci-fi shot in Cinemascope), my boys as kids would have been unfamiliar with either of these actors. But back in the ’60s, Kirk was very much top of his game, starring in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, and alongside John Wayne in three films, making Kirk much sought after by celebrity columnists. Which is where this meatloaf comes in. Continue Reading…

Meaty Mainstays

Ancho-Braised Lamb Shanks

January 5, 2019

It’s 12th night tonight! I’m not in baking mode–running about in the sunshine with my boys–so no kings cake,  but tomorrow, will make this wonderful dish in keeping with the Spanish tradition on Epiphany (Reyes) of eating one last feast of the holiday season, including slow-roast lamb. This  “low & slow” fabulosity is a dish you can start in the morning and feast on at dinner.  You’ll put it in the oven with a full gallon of chili-spiked braising liquid which, simmered down for four hours, still leaves plenty to reheat and glaze the shanks for several reprises. Served with little pearls of Israeli couscous, rich gravy & a sauce of preserved lemon, mint, garlic and Greek yogurt, these ancho-spiced shanks make a meal full of bright flavors.

Continue Reading…

Meaty Mainstays

Ballymaloe House Lamb Stew

November 2, 2018

Cherished recipes are like ripples, each one an echo of the  wave-maker that broke the surface. This Ballymaloe House lamb stew is the 1940s original that started the ripples of stews to follow. A version of it was later published in Gourmet magazine (1960s) and then again in Ruth Reichl’s 2004-published volume featuring six-decades of Gourmet recipe bests. Rather than look to the later versions, when Lost Recipes Found reader Iness wrote me in search of the recipe, I reached out to Darina Allen, head of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland, and a member of the family running Ballymaloe House hotel and restaurant and asked for the real deal.

According to Darina, the  recipe was given to her mother-in-law Myrtle Allen by neighbor-lady Madge Dolan in the 1940s. It became a staple at both Ballymaloe House  and at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. While lamb stew is extremely common in Ireland with regional variations from county to county, (no carrots in Northern Ireland; barley added for extra sustenance in other places) this version differed from others of the period because  the meat and vegetables are browned in hot fat before stewing, making the finished dish much more flavorful. The stew is delicious served up immediately after you make it, and is just as good warmed up the next day. Continue Reading…

Meaty Mainstays

Beef Bourguignon

December 8, 2015

On blustery Midwestern days, my thoughts turn to the warm comforts of stews cooked with wine. More specifically? Beef Bourguignon.  I have had many requests for this most-classic of beef-stew recipes, starting when I was doing Lost Recipes Found as a column for the Chicago Tribune, and continuing on today. The Trib first published a version of this recipe in 1954, reprising it in 1957, 1967 and 1972. We like our LRF addition of beef stock and oven braising, but the basics remain the same.The key to superb flavor is browning the beef before slow-simmering it, adding a full bottle of burgundy wine, and plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs. Be sure to have a loaf of crusty bread on hand to go alongside.

Continue Reading…