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Fill yer boots

13 Jul


During the Calgary Stampede, you’re guaranteed at least one dark stormy day. A comforting ladleful of deep, glossy mahogany-hued stew will warm your bones. Stew is western comfort food at its finest. Rich, velvet pools of chicken or beef perfectly nap hot cheese biscuits or buttery clouds of mashed potatoes flecked with chives.

stewAdding a bottle of red wine (boeuf bourguignon) or Belgian beer (les carbonades Flamandes) will only make your bubbling pot better. We confess to preferring our stew dark and saucy, with bite-sized chunks of meat, potatoes, onion and carrot. Too many chunky vegetables or a gluey consistency and you’ve lost us. If you can, try to prepare stew a day in advance.

These two western-style stews make use of Canadian ingredients. Maple syrup, juniper berries and dried blueberries make these distinct tastes.

SONOFABITCH STEW
Buzzards
This stew, by name, has a vile history with ingredients better left unsaid.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/2 lbs meat cubed 1″
1lb diced carrots
1lb onions
1lb diced red potatoes
5 celery stalks
1 cup flour
2 qts beef stock
2 or 3 juniper berries
1/2 cup dried berries (cranberry, blueberry, saskatoon (rosehips?)
2 1/4 lbs sausage chorizo, or Italian, thickly sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped thyme
Bay leaf
Salt pepper
Heat oil, sear meat in batches. Set aside. Add veg and saute til soft. Return meat, stir in flour until meat and veg are well coated
Add stock and and stir well. Reduce heat to low. Add berries, sausage and herbs. Simmer for one hour or until meat is tender. Season.

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JASPER PARK LODGE VOYAGEUR STEW

Makes eight servings
3 pounds/1.5kg lean beef, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups potatoes, skin on , cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
2 cups turnips, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
1 cup, green onions, cut into small rounds
4 cups beef stock
salt and pepper

In a pan, heat the oil and cook the beef until the cubes are brown on all sides about five minutes.

Add the onions and continue cooking for three minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the potatoes, turnips, and green onions and cook stirring for three minutes. Add the beef stock, salt and pepper and simmer for one hour.
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PARKER’S BEEF STEW
Barefoot contessa
2 1/2 pounds good-quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1(750 ml bottle) good red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
6 ounces bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
All-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 (14 1/2 ounce can) beef stock
1 large (2 small) branch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (not petits pois)

1.Place the beef in a bowl with the red wine (I use a good one since it’s an important flavor), whole garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight.

2.The next day, preheat the oven to 300°F.

3.Brown the bacon in a large (12-inch) sauté pan for 5 to 7 minutes, over medium-low heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess. In the sauté pan, brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Place the beef in the Dutch oven with the bacon and continue to brown the remaining beef, placing it all in the Dutch oven.

4.Lower the heat to medium-low, add the onions to the sauté pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Place all the vegetables in the Dutch oven with the beef. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved marinade (discard the rest) to the sauté pan and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring it to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250°F or 275°F.

5.When the stew is done and the meat is tender, whisk 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of the sauce together and pour it back into the stew. Simmer for 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.

Tootin’ along the trail

12 Jul

Burritos = cowboy food.
We think a little Stampede fusion would transform the annual barbecue beanpot buffet dish into a cowboy burrito classic.
From SF Gate: Flour tortillas, a fraction of the size seen in today’s wraps, made easy carriers for workmen’s lunches — a fast dab of beans, maybe rice, sometimes a little lean, rangy meat.
“It was cowboy food,” says food writer and Chronicle columnist Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, noting that burrito means “little donkey.”
“It was saddlebag stuff. Sometimes they’d even wrap it in a second tortilla, which they’d throw away before eating, to really seal in the beans and the meat, which of course was tough. If they were lucky, there’d be a slice of onion or chile, too.”
Chicago’s Rick Bayless puts the official crossover at Tijuana/San Diego and the burrito “epicenter” in Los Angeles.
“In Northern Mexico, serious cooks may know what a burrito is, but they won’t make one.”
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After a steady stream of beef-on-a-bun and hamburgers already during Stampede, Cowboy Bean Burritos are a welcome switch-up.
Keep ’em small and simple.
We have sampled the standard beanpot recipe below at every backyardecue we’ve ever been to. This year, try adding some chorizo in place of ground beef. Add a bit of chipotle heat to maple syrup-sweetened beans.

Wrap them and sear the stuffed flour tortillas on the grill so they are blistered and flaky. Drape shredded spicy jack to melt over top. Folks can squeeze lime wedges, dollop sour cream or quacamole, and add some smoky salsa.

Cowboy Bean Burritos would shake things up at brunch.

Or as cigar-shaped cocktail-sized corn taquitos.

Or as hors d’œuvres of mini tostatas by dropping blobs onto round tortilla chips and topping with shredded jack.

Or serve Prairie Dogs: barbecued smokies or frankfurters topped with bean mixture.

We’ll stop now.

BEAN STUFF
from The Best of Bridge: Royal Treats For Entertaining
“A tasty variation of chili – perfect for holiday get-togethers.”

Ingredients:
6 slices bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef 500g
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. molasses 30ml
2 Tbsp. brown sugar 30ml
2 tsp. dry mustard 5ml
1/3 cup vinegar 75ml
19 oz. can tomatoes 540ml (fire roasted if available)
14 oz. can kidney beans 398ml
14 oz. can lima beans, drained 398ml (we’ve had this without and it was fine)
14 oz. can pork & beans 398ml (two cans if you omit lima beans)
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce 5ml
salt, pepper & tabasco sauce, to taste

Instructions:
Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble. Brown beef and onion. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large casserole. Bake at 300F (150C)oven for 2 hours. Serve with caesar salad and baguette sticks. Serves 4-6

Spaghetti Western rides again

10 Jul

We can’t lie: we are obsessed with our Spaghetti Western theme (check out our Stampede category for the evidence). We have amassed a small collection of beefy, beery versions of party-style pasta just perfect for Stampede.

COWBOY SPAGHETTI WITH CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE
Rachael Ray
1 pound spaghetti
Salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan
3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce (eyeball it)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin (half a palmful)
1/2 bottle pale beer (eyeball it)
1 can, 14 ounces chopped or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped
Yields: 4 servings
Preparation
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt, then the pasta and cook spaghetti until al dente according to package directions.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, about 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary but leave just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the sirloin and crumble it with a wooden spoon as it browns, 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, and season with salt, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder and cumin. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add the beer, cook for 1 minute more then add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring up to a bubble and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
While the meat sauce is cooking, make the cheese sauce: Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat and add butter. When the butter melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and then the milk. Thicken for 2 minutes then stir in the cheese and melt, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the jalapenos and scallions. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Drain spaghetti, add to the meat sauce and combine.
Pour into a large serving bowl and pour the cheddar cheese sauce over the top.

Chuckwagon Chili Mac

8 Jul

More Stampede recipes for the greatest 10 days ahead.

Spaghetti Western 3.0: Smoky bison chili topped with cheesy wagonwheel pasta.

Here’s a two-toned casserole perfect for Stampede time. Sick of beef on a bun? Can’t stomach another corn dog?
Time for chili mac, Stampede style. This would look smashing on a buffet table with a crisp green salad and a grilled vegetable platter. Our beloved GR is the inspiration.
The chili should be sparse and saucy, like a curry. Redolent with smoked paprika, cocoa, coffee. Deep tomato and bison flavour. Bean-free, thank you very much. Then, a sophisticated fondue-napped pasta top.

CHUCKWAGON CHILI MAC
adapted and inspired by patentandthepantry.com
Pasta and cheese:

500 grams wagonwheel-shaped pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
5 cups grated cheese
3 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. As the pasta boils, start on the cheese sauce. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a pot. When frothy and bubbling, add flour and mix until well blended. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. After it has thickened slightly, add 4 cups of the grated cheese. Stir until melted, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Top with cheese sauce and mix together.

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Layer chili in the base of casserole dish. Top with macaroni and cheese and then sprinkle over remaining one cup of cheese. Bake covered for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of your casserole dish). Remove lid and bake another 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling on top.

Why the Prairie Chicken Crossed the Road

6 Jul

Ho-hum to beer butt chicken or dry, stringy barbecue breasts during Stampede.

Wagons ho for Prairie Chicken Wings basted with Saskatoon or rose hip jelly glaze.

Or savory sage rubbed chicken skewers with a maple-butter glaze.

These combinations have the flavours of Canada.

SAVORY SAGE RUB
1 Tablespoon ground sage
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt

Coat wings or chicken skewers with rub. Grill on medium until done. Baste with rose hip jelly and let caramelize slightly on the grill. Or baste with maple butter glaze.

MAPLE BUTTER GLAZE
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
If you want to add a kick – 1 tbls of cayenne pepper.

Here’s red in yer eye

5 Jul

Who doesn’t love a Calgary Red Eye? Here are two ways to include beer and Clamato into your Stampede party menu.

BLOODY CAESAR STEAMED MUSSELS
recipe from Cooking With Booze(We’d like to see this with beer added to the Clamato juice to make up one cup of liquid.)

500g (1 lb.) mussels, beards removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
250ml (1 cup) Clamato juice
50ml (1/4 cup) vodka
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
dash Tabasco sauce
freshly ground black pepper

In a colander, shake and rinse mussels under cold water, discarding any that remain open. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the remaining ingredients along with mussels. Cover and steam over high heat until mussels open (4 to 5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and serve with warm crusty bread or spoon over cooked linguine for a complete meal
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Again, we’d like to see beer in this. Considering how well pork goes with clams, perhaps a switch up with clamato juice and pork?

STAMPEDE RED EYE STEW

4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 pounds buffalo stew meat (preferably sirloin)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 tablespoon ground white pepper
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup strong coffee
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
Directions
In a medium saucepot on medium-high heat, add the diced potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Once it has reached a boil, reduce to medium heat and continue to simmer. Cook until the potatoes are halfway done, drain, and reserve.

While the potatoes are simmering, in a large saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the stew meat, onions, herbs and spices. Once the meat begins to brown, sift in the flour to coat the meat and mix well. Cook the flour with the meat for 5 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes to the meat mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then add to the buffalo mixture, the half-cooked potatoes, bourbon, coffee, Worcestershire and water and bring to a boil. Once a full boil has been reached, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the buffalo meat is tender.

Doing the Midway Our Way

2 Jul

It’s almost Stampede time, and we have big plans. First off, here’s how to bring the midway to your backyard party.

Mini muffin tins transform cornbread into corndog lollypops. But why stop there? How about crab cake corndogs? How about thick pinwheels of cheddar-laden puff pastry or biscuit dough with a hotdog slice in the middle?

As for the dinky donuts, beer-flavoured ice cream, pulled pork parfaits, Frito pie and deep-fried everything, you’re on your own.
Click here for our inspiration.

Serve these little bites lollypop-style: poke a skewer in the side and serve with dishes of yellow mustard and ketchup for dipping. If you’re making corn bread from scratch, make sure to add brown sugar and some grainy mustard for a great crust. (See recipe at bottom to compare)

CORNDOG MINI MUFFINS
2 (8.5 ounce) packages cornbread mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar (we assume this is to make it as sweet as Jiffy)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, save some for tops
large size hot dogs, sliced into coins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin tins.
Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins until 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog piece to each muffin. Top with grated cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Muffins can be frozen.

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CORN DOG BATTER
Good for one package of 8 sausages

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, butter, buttermilk, grainy mustard and baking soda. Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.

Dry the sausages well and put on a stick. Dip into the batter and fry until golden.