Fennel braised brisket

–          1 brisket

–          Salt and pepper

–          4 tbsp vegetable oil

–          1 onion in wedges

–          1 large fennel bulb in wedges

–          3 celery stalks cut in 1 inch pieces

–          1 cup celery leaves

–          1 head of garlic halved crosswise

–          ½ bunch thyme

–          ¾ cups white vinegar

–          1/8 cup light soy sauce

–          1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

–          2 cups mixed herbs (parsley, mint, coriander)

–          ½ lemon

–          Fleur de sel and red pepper flakes

Season brisket on all sides with salt and pepper and chill uncovered for at least 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 300F. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown brisket fatty side down until deep brown color, turn and cook other sides, transfer to platter. Discard fat in pot. Pour 2 tbsp oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onion and season, cooking until edges are brown (3-4 minutes). Add fennel, celery, garlic and thyme and stir, season with salt and pepper. Add vinegar, soy sauce and Worcestershire and 4 cups of water. Place brisket in pot fatty side up- should be submerged. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in oven. Braise for 3 hours without disturbing it! After 3 hours, check brisket- it should be super tender. If not, braise another twenty. Uncover brisket and increase oven to 425F. Roast until liquid is reduced by three quarters and top is crisp and deeply browned, 50 minutes. Let rest. Transfer to a cutting board, slice or shred. Skim fat from braising liquid. In a bowl, mix herbs and celery leaves with lemon juice. Serve over meat and sprinkle fleur de sel and even red pepper flakes.

Buttery roast chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • Lemon
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • ½ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix breadcrumbs, thyme, zest, 1 cup of butter and ½ tbsp salt in a bowl. Carefully run your hand between the skin and the chicken and insert the butter mixture under the skin. Work the butter over the breasts, thighs and drumsticks so it is evenly coated. Rub the remaining 1/2cup butter on outside of skin and season with salt and pepper. Insert cut lemon and two smashed garlic cloves in chicken cavity and place in a roast pan along with a ½ cup of white wine. Roast until skin is golden brown and internal temperature reads 165F, depending on size of bird 1h-1h30. Let rest before carving.

Cucumber halloumi salad

  • 1 English cucumber cut in quartered slices
  • Handful of fresh herbs – tarragon, chives, mint are great together, finely chopped
  • Large avocado cut in small chunks
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A few slices of halloumi cheese

Combine all ingredients together except for cheese. For halloumi, oil a frying pan and cook about 1-2 minutes on each side on medium heat, until golden brown. Place halloumi over salad and enjoy.

Herb sauce

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup of cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup parsley chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper

Blend all ingredients and serve as sauce for potatoes, veggies and meat.

Serve with roasted potatoes and veggies of choice.

Beef stroganoff

–          2 tbsp olive oil

–          1 package (1lb) beef slices or flank, sirloin or ribeye steak, sliced.

–          2 shallots, sliced thinly

–          2 garlic cloves, minced

–          1 ½ lbs mushrooms, sliced

–          1 sprig fresh thyme

–          1/3 cup white wie

–          2 tbsp flour

–          2 cups vegetable broth

–          1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

–          1 tsp Dijon mustard

–          1 lb fresh pasta noodles

–          1/3 cup sour cream

–          ½ tsp paprika

–          Salt and pepper

Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme and cook until mushroom edges are golden. Remove from pan and sear the beef slices until brown. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze pan with the wine and cook until most has evaporated. Add mushrooms in pan. Reduce heat and sprinkle flour over the beef and mushrooms. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce and mustard, bringing to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cook pasta until al dente, drain and distribute between 4 plates. Remove sauce from heat. Remove thym sprig, add sour cream and paprika, stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning. Serve stroganoff over pasta and garnish with more fresh thyme.

Beef Wellington à la Gordon Ramsey

This is simply gorgeous and really not that much work 😉

For mushroom duxelles

–          3 tbsp olive oil

–          4 cups finely diced mushrooms (portobellos, mini bella or button mushrooms, the plain white ones)

–          salt and freshly ground pepper

–          1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

For chive crèpes

–          2 eggs

–          1 cup flour

–          1 cup milk

–          1 tsp chopped chives

–          1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

–          Pinch of salt

–          Non stick cooking spray

Beef Wellington

–          1 package beef tenderloin center cut (0.9-1 lb)

–          Salt

–          Fresh ground pepper

–          1 tbsp vegetable oil

–          1 tbsp Dijon mustard

–          1 package prosciutto

–          1 sheet of puff pastry homemade or store bought

–          2 egg yolks

Step 1, making duxelles.

In a frying pan over medium high heat, add oil and when hot, mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and add thyme. Stir often to avoid mushrooms sticking and cook until all moisture has evaporated, 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Step 2, chive crèpes.

In large bowl combine eggs, flour, milk, herbs and salt. Whisk until incorporated and let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.

Spray your pan and place over low heat. Add ½ cup of batter and swirl pan to spread batter evenly, making a very thin pancake. Cook for 30 seconds so it sets and flip to cook opposite sides for a few seconds. Avoid browning. Continue until all crèpes are cooked. To avoid them sticking to each other, place parchment paper between each.

Step 3, sear tenderloin.

Season beef with salt and pepper, rubbing them into meat. Place cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Once it is hot, sear the beef one minute per side. Remove to a tray and pour any pan juices over it. Brush Dijon mustard all over hot tenderloin and let rest.

Step 4, assembling the Wellington.

Lay three pieces of plastic wrap on your counter. Using two or three crèpes, trim them into squares the length of your tenderloin and line them up vertically on plastic wrap. Layer prosciutto slices on top of crèpes and spread mushroom duxelles over prosciutto. Season with salt and pepper. Pour resting juices of tenderloin over duxelles and place beef at bottom of crèpe, rolling it up with the help of the plastic wrap twist ends to form a tight package, refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Step 5, cooking the Wellington.

Preheat oven to 450F, if convection over, 425F. Layer three pieces of plastic wrap on counter. Place puff pastry in center and roll out to 1/8 inches thick, trimming to fit tenderloin (so you can completely cover it on all sides). Unwrap beef and place on pastry 1/3 of the way up. Brush pastry with egg wash and season with salt and pepper. Lift plastic wrap up and roll pastry over the beef until the edges meet then massage pastry until seam is sealed. Twist plastic like a candy wrapper and pinch off excess pastry on each end while twisting. Make sure beef is sealed in. Discard plastic wrap, smooth ends and apply egg wash. With he back of a knife, gently score the top of Wellington to make a design. Place on a parchment lined tray and place in fridge for 5 minutes.

Place in centre of oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown – I also check internal temperature, I aim for 110F). Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with some nice potatoes, crispy seasonal vegetables and a creamy red wine sauce.