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…
Ancho-Braised Lamb ShanksJanuary 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.
Beef BourguignonDecember 8, 2015
This is a pot of pure comfort. 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 addition of beef stock to the recipe, but the basics remain the same. The key to superb flavor is browning the beef before slow-simmering, 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 when you serve it. My recipe has you simmer the stew on the stove top for the first half hour, and then move it to the oven for the last hour (so you don’t have to keep up with the occasional stirring.) But you can also just leave the stew on the stove top over very low heat instead of moving it to the oven. If you choose this option: Just be sure to stir the pot every ten minutes or so, to ensure nothing sticks at the bottom. Continue cooking until the flavors have deepened and the sauce has thickened.