tomato sauce

Blade Steak Remedy, Beer and Root Vegetables

For the past few days we've been working hard to restore our house to its former glory, wriggling around the crawl space and ducking around the attic, sawing, scraping, painting. But we still had time to hit the farmer's market in town for our supply of greens, cheeses, fish, and, on this occasion, some amazing grass-fed beef--blade steaks. The blade steak is not the tenderest of cuts, but it has so much flavor. To cook, slow-braise in beer, garlic, thick tomato sauce, and herbs. And remember the root veg. For acidity I've used my neighbor's twenty-something-hour tomato sauce. He simmers his tomatoes for that long, adding more every few hours. The result is a thick, deep flavored sauce, akin to rich tomato paste. But any tomato sauce will do for this recipe.

Serves 4

Pot-au-Feu

• 2 (about 20oz each) blade steaks • 1 bottle of beer • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 2 sprigs thyme • a small bunch of parsley • 1 cup tomato sauce • varieties of veggies - fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, sliced onions • salt + ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil and sear the steaks on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Put all the ingredients including the steaks in a large cast iron pot. Add water (or stock) until just covered. Simmer on a back burner on low heat for at least 4 hours. Reserve the meat and vegetables and reduce the liquid by half (~15-20 minutes) then whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour. Transfer each serving of meat and veggies to a shallow bowl, pour sauce overtop. Enjoy with crusty bread.

Part 4 - Dinner: Lobster Stuffed Shells

This is one cheesy recipe, so try to use quality stuff; aged cheddar and a block of parmesan, not the pre-grated kinds. We usually make stuffed shells with spinach instead of lobster. It's one of those versatile dishes; you can always use the same recipe and just swap the lobster for something else: crab meat, beef, mushrooms, you name it. Serve the shells with a simple tomato sauce. Part 1 - Cooking the Lobster Part 2 - Breakfast: Lobster Eggs Benedict Part 3 - Lunch: Lobster Roll Part 5 - Lobster Bisque

Serves 4

Simple White Wine Tomato Sauce

• 500 ml canned crushed tomatoes • 1/2 cup white wine • 2 cloves garlic • 1 tablespoon tomato paste • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 tablespoon cream

On medium heat, sweat the garlic in olive oil. Add the white wine and let reduce for 1 minute. Add all the rest of the ingredients, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Lobster Stuffed Shells

• 24 giant pasta shells • 2 cups lobster meat (4 tails), finely chopped • 1 cup cottage cheese • 1 cup cheddar • 1/2 cup white wine • 1/2 cup cream • 1/2 cup parmesan • salt+ black pepper • chives (optional)

Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 15 minutes, or what the package indicates. They must still be al dente. Set aside.

In a pan reheat the lobster with a dash of olive oil. Add the wine and let it bubble away. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl mix the cottage cheese, cheddar and parmesan. Add the lobster mixture.

In a large deep oven pan pour half of the tomato sauce in the bottom. Stuff each shell with about a tablespoon of the filling and put them in the pan. Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells and top with a bit of parmesan and/or cheddar.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 375F and finish with broil for a couple of minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and eat. Garnish with chopped chives.