Two weekends ago, the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, I was feeling like sending winter out with one last hearty winter meal. Mother Nature decided to cooperate with my farewell to winter bash by snowing all day long. Nothing stuck, but I woke up on Saturday to an unexpected amount of white falling from the sky, and it continued until after dinner. So we spend a final weekend (hopefully) cooking winter-themed foods.
Saturday night was a shepherd’s pie. Cottage pie, really, I suppose, because we used beef and not lamb. We used the recipe from Food Network by Anne Burrell–it caught my eye and got favorable reviews. I found it interesting that it didn’t call for beer–but instead used red wine. However, we had a bottle of unimpressive red wine on hand and no dark beer that we were willing to part with, so we stuck to the original recipe. (I also felt terribly grown up, sipping my wine while we cooked.) It was really tasty, though I found the meat to be a bit tough. I don’t think I got the right cut for this recipe. I would totally try the recipe again…but I wouldn’t use stew beef with it. Not a long enough cooking time.
On Sunday, we tried about a Winter Minestrone by Giada De Laurentiis. Another really good recipe. I had never worked with pancetta before, but it was a nice addition to the soup. Next time, I think I would add pasta instead of the potato–or at least not use a Russet potato. I didn’t like the texture. But overall, the soup was quite tasty.
(Both recipes are fairly lengthy, so I’ll just link to them and leave it at that. I didn’t really make any changes worth noting on either of them.)