Category Archives: Meat

Spiced Uzbekistani Plov (Pilaf) With Herbs, Scallions & Peas

Serves 4

1 cup basmati rice 1/4 cup canola or light olive oil 1 pound boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned 2 teaspoons each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, toasted and crushed 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed 2 cups simmering homemade or good-quality store-bought beef stock, to cover 1 whole unpeeled garlic head, washed 1 fat bunch each of chives or scallion green tops, cilantro or parsley, and leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs of mint, finely chopped 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

Place rice in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat until smoking, and then add lamb. Cook, turning occasionally, until the lamb is evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the onion; cook, stirring, until the onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots; cook, stirring, until the carrots have softened, about 10 minutes. Mix in cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and peppercorns. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. [Editor’s note: If you find the meat is sticking, you can add 1 teaspoon or so of water before covering the pot.]

Wash rice with hot water and drain well. Pour cleaned rice over the lamb mixture in an even layer. Place the raw garlic head on top of the rice and squeeze it into the center before covering everything with stock.
Slowly pour in the hot stock over a large spoon or wooden spatula. This step will ensure even distribution of the stock over the rice. The rice should be covered with about 3/4- to 1- inch of liquid. Do not stir. Season with salt, and reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover until the liquid starts boiling, at which point, remove the cover to let the stock almost evaporate. Then tightly cover again and cook on very low heat until rice is ready, about 20 to 25 more minutes.

When the rice is ready, open the lid, remove the garlic head, sprinkle in scallion green tops, herbs, and peas, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. Then fluff and carefully mix everything together and serve.
It is also very traditional to serve the Plov with Shikarop: a salad with finely sliced (almost shredded) tomatoes, shredded sweet onions, oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, and paprika. Enjoy!


Short Rib Shepherd’s Pie


4 beef short ribs, each 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb. (1 to 1.25 kg)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
3 1/2 cups (28 fl. oz./875 ml) dry red wine such as Syrah
3 bay leaves
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) beef stock, or as needed
1 1/2 lb. (750 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) milk
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
1 egg yolk, beaten


1. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Bring to room temperature and season again with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

3. In a large sauté pan over high heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, sear the ribs, turning as needed, until well browned all over. Transfer the ribs to a Dutch oven. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. fat from the sauté pan and return to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and carrot and sauté until beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil until the wine is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil and pour the contents of the pan over the ribs. They should be just covered with liquid; add more stock if needed.

4. Cover the pot tightly and transfer to the oven. Braise the ribs, adding stock as needed to maintain the liquid level, until a fork slides easily through meat, about 2 1/2 hours. Skim off any fat from surface and let the ribs cool in the liquid until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the ribs from the pot and pull the meat from bones. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the pot and discard and bones and any excess fat.

5. While the ribs are cooling, in a saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan over low heat until mostly dry. Pass the potatoes through a ricer back into the warm pan. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the butter is melted and the mixture is steaming. Pour the milk mixture into the potatoes, add the egg yolk and fold to mix well.

6. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°F). Transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish or divide among individual gratin dishes. Cover the top(s) evenly with the potatoes. Bake until the topping is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Chicken Teriyaki with Vegetables and Rice

Serves 4

4 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
1 large sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup soybean or mung bean sprouts (about 2 ounces)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup mirin or rice wine
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated or minced peeled fresh ginger
3 small cloves garlic, grated or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups cooked rice

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 3 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, broccoli, and carrots and sauté until the broccoli is a bright green and the carrots are still crisp but slightly tender, about 2 minutes.

Add the zucchini, snow peas, and sprouts and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total.

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, honey, ginger, and garlic. Stir and scrape up any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook just until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, 2 to 3 minutes.

Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 3 tablespoons chicken broth in a small bowl until fully combined. Stir the chicken and sauce in the Dutch oven, and drizzle in the cornstarch mixture. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring the liquid constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the rice and reserved vegetables and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the rice has begun to absorb the sauce, the vegetables are cooked to the desired doneness, and the chicken is soft and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Chicken Cacciatore

chicken cacciatore

Makes 4 servings

  • Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 14- to 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh oregano leaves
  • Grated parmesan for serving
  • Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving
  1. Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about 1/4 inch, and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
  2. Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.
  4. Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  5. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. After the 30 to 40 minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Brisket


  • 3 pounds second-cut brisket
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium white onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots or prunes
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle of red wine (I used cabernet)


  • Rub brisket all over with salt and pepper and allow to sit out at room temperature for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, the moisture that the salt releases from the meat should be reabsorbed into the meat. If the surface of the brisket is still beaded with moisture, allow the meat to sit out at room temperature a little longer.
  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat and sear brisket for 5 minutes on each side, or until a nice crust forms. After searing, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  • Melt butter in the Dutch oven and add onions, garlic, thyme, carrots, and tomato paste and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and slightly browned — about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Return brisket to Dutch oven and add the apricots or prunes, beef stock, and red wine. The brisket should be completely submerged in liquid — if it isn’t, add water or more stock until it is.
  • Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and cook in the oven until the meat is falling apart, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • When the meat is done, remove it from the Dutch oven, set it on a platter, and cover in foil to keep it warm. Boil the liquid over medium heat until it reduces to approximately 4 cups — this should take about 25 minutes.
  • After it has reduced, strain the sauce through a sieve and taste it to adjust seasoning.
  • Cut brisket against the grain in 1/4-inch strips and serve with sauce and stewed apricots or prunes, onions, and carrots.


The Best Roast Chicken with Garlic and Herb Pan Sauce

roasted chicken

Serves 4

  • One 3 to 4 pound chicken, preferably organic or free-range, brought to room temperature
  • Kosher salt (and pepper if you’d like)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Heat the oven to 480 degrees F. Pat the chicken dry inside and out (if you want an extra crispy skin, leave the raw chicken in the fridge uncovered overnight after you’ve patted it dry and then bring it to room temperature).
  • Put the chicken on a board or a large platter and generously season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper if you’re using it. Drizzle a little olive oil in the cavity as well.
  • Drizzle the rest of the oil over the chicken, and rub it all over so that it’s evenly coated. Salt the chicken well all over, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Transfer the chicken to an enameled cast iron pan or a heavy roasting pan just big enough to hold it and put it in the oven. Don’t open the door for at least 45 minutes, when you can start to test it for doneness. (The chicken is cooked when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife, and the juices run clear.) Let the chicken rest on a carving board while you make the pan sauce.
  • To make the sauce, put the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the drippings in the pan, and once it melts add the thyme and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute.
  • Add the wine to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon, stirring them into the sauce. Let the wine cook down for one to two minutes.
  • Add a cup of boiling water, stir well, and let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary (if you’ve salted your chicken enough, this probably won’t be necessary).
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the warm pan sauce in a bowl nearby for dipping.
  • Beef Burgers with Cabernet Onion Jam


    Serves 4

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    3 cups very thinly sliced red onion (from 2 medium red onions)
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
    2/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon wine
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 ounces thinly sliced gruyere cheese
    4 (2-ounce) sourdough or Kaiser rolls

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is nearly gone, 12 to 14 minutes longer (25 to 30 minutes total). Cover and set aside.

    Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking (400° to 500°F). Brush the grates lightly with oil.

    Mix the beef, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper with a fork; form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Press your thumb in the center of each burger to form an indentation. Grill the patties 4 to 5 minutes, turn and grill another 4 minutes, and top with the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is cooked to desired degree of doneness (160° for medium).

    Place the burger on the bottom half of the roll; top with the onion jam and close the sandwich.

    Turkey Banh Mi Burger


    • 1 cup julienned carrots
    • 1 cup julienned daikon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1 lb ground turkey (I used Plainville Farms Turkey)
    • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, about 1 stalk
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 6 slider buns, lightly toasted
    • 1 cup cilantro
    • 1 jalapeños, sliced
    • kewpie mayo, to taste
    • 1 cup julienned carrots
    • 1 cup julienned daikon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1 lb ground turkey (I used Plainville Farms Turkey)
    • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, about 1 stalk
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 6 slider buns, lightly toasted
    • 1 cup cilantro
    • 1 jalapeños, sliced
    • kewpie mayo, to taste

    Make the pickles: put the carrots and daikon into a bowl and sprinkle on the salt and sugar. After 15 minutes, rinse off the pickles, drain well and place in the fridge until ready to assemble.

    In a bowl, throughly mix the turkey, lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce and pepper. Divide evenly into 6 patties and gently shape.

    Heat your barbecue to medium high heat. Brush the grill with oil and grill for 5-6 minutes, flip and grill for another 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through (165°F).

    Build your burger: smear a bit of mayo on the top and bottom bun. Top with a turkey patty, slices of jalapeno, the carrot and daikon pickles, cilantro, and the top bun. Enjoy!