Slow Cooker Oxtail with Black-Eyed Peas

I planned on making beef short ribs in the crock pot and was very disappointed at the grocery store when there were none available and none in the back.  I spotted several packages of beef oxtail and decided I would try out my short rib recipe with the ox tails.  The results were great! Serve this stew over some yellow corn grits for a dinner that will leave everyone’s tummy full.

Here is what you will need:IMG_4179


5lbs Beef Oxtail
2 Onions, sliced
2//3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbls chili powder
3 bottles of good quality Root Beer (Diet won’t work here, also,I prefer Virgil’s)
4 tbls peanut oil
2 tbls tomato paste
2 bags frozen black-eyed peas

Start by combining the flour, paprika, salt, pepper and chili powder in a large bowl and combining with a whisk until well mixed. Toss the oxtails in the flour mixture.

Next, heat up 2 tbls of the peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet and add your oxtails. Be careful no to overcrowd your skillet. Turn until the oxtails are browned on all sides (about 6-8 minutes). I was able to get all of the oxtails browned two batches.

Transfer the oxtails to a 7 Quart slow cooker and add the remaining peanut oil to the pan and drippings from the oxtails.

Add the sliced onions to the pan and saute until they begin to become translucent. Add one bottle of root beer to the skillet with the onions with the tomato paste and scrape all of the drippings from the pan.

Add the onions and sauce to the crock pot along with two additional bottles of root beer. Set your crock pot on HIGH and cook for 3 hours. Leave your black-eyed peas on the counter in a bowl to thaw. We will add those after 3 hours.

After the first three hours have passed on HIGH, open the lid and give things a quick toss. Pour in the thawed black-eyed peas and gently stir. Put the lid back on your crock pot and set it on HIGH for an additional three hours.


After the three hours is up you will want to ladle some of the fat that has risen to the top off of the stew.  You will also be ready to taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference.


I went out to my herb garden and picked some fresh flat leaf parsley right before serving.  This is optional but offers some pretty greenery to the finished dish!

Coq au Vin Blanc

This is a fun twist on a French classic, Coq au Vin.  This is a little less heavy than versions made with red wine but that doesn’t mean that it is lacking in flavor, this dish is out of this world.

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1 whole chicken
6 slices bacon, thick cut
2 bags boiler onions
1 package Shiitake mushrooms – sliced
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary – chopped
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme  – chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 bottle of White Bordeaux
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large cast iron dutch oven, render the fat out of the bacon and reserve the bacon pieces for later.  Leave the bacon fat in the dutch oven.

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Peel and half the onions, dice the celery and carrots and remove the ends from the gloves of garlic.

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Add the onions, celery, carrots, rosemary, thyme and garlic to the bacon fat over medium-high heat and cook until they begin to become translucent.


Once the veggies have started to soften, add the mushrooms and cook down until they wilt.


Add the entire bottle of white wine and continue to simmer over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper.


Prepare the chicken by separating the thighs, legs and breasts.  I always cut the breasts in half  to create 8 pieces of chicken.


Sear the chicken over high hear in a non-stick skillet until the sides are slightly browned – but not cooked through.


Add the browned chicken to the put with enough chicken stock to cover the chicken.  Put a lid over the chicken and simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the sauce and place on a platter.


Add 1 cup of the sauce to a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch.  Blend until the starch is dissolved and add the mixture back to the simmering liquid.  Stir until the sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with a sprinkling of parsley. This is a perfect meal for a cold evening.  I served this over mashed cauliflower and celery root and received rave reviews from my friends and family.

Broiled Garlic Oysters

Oysters are always a romantic and elegant treat.  We have them every Christmas in the afternoon with Champagne.



12 oysters shucked and arranged on a salt bed
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tbls butter
black pepper
1 tbls chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a thick paste.  Drop 1-2 teaspoon drops onto shucked oysters.


Broil for 10 minutes.


Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.




Seven Onion Soup

This recipe is bursting with flavor!  Onions are often overlooked as the main star of the dish but this soup recipe really highlights their natural sweetness.



5 slices thick cut bacon
2 jumbo yellow onions
1 white onion
1 small sweet onion
1 Vadalia onion
5 yellow pearl onions
3 large shallots
3 scallions – sliced
1 stick plus 3 tbls butter
3 tlbs flour
1 tsp dried thyme
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
black pepper
salt – In this recipe I use fabulous J.Q. Dickinson salt which is a West Virginia company and can be found here (A gift from my wonderful friend Jeanine Faegre)

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Start by small dicing and rending the bacon.


Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain.


Add the stick of butter to the bacon fat and melt, scraping the bits of bacon from the bottom of the pan.

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Slice all onions and add to the fat over medium-high heat.  Cover and let cook down for an hour an a half – stirring every 10-15 minutes.

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When the onions begin to fall apart, remove the lid and cook for 20 additional minutes.


The onions will begin to slightly caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan.  When this happens, remove from the heat to cool.


Blend in the food processor until smooth.  Let the onion puree cool.

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In the meantime, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan along with the flour, thyme, salt and pepper – creating a roux.


Cook the roux for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.

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Add the chicken stock and bay leaves.  Cook for 10 minutes until boiling.


Add onion puree and cream – heat until boiling.


Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste. For this dish I go a tad heavy on the black pepper.


Garnish with scallions and enjoy.

Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Apple Jalapeno Chutney

This is the all-time favorite appetizer of friends and family alike.  I have served this at my wedding, my best friend’s wedding, birthdays, funerals, snow days and when I wanted my boss to be nice to me.

What you will need:


For the chutney:
1 red onion
2 large Granny Smith apples
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

For the Pork Tenderloin:
2 medium pork tenderloins
10 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbls whole black peppercorns, course ground



Small dice the onion, apple and pepper into uniform pieces.  Take your time here, it is worth it for the end result.


Prepare a reduction.  Combine water, vinegar and sugar and boil over medium-high heat until reduced by 1/2.

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Add onion, apple and pepper to the reduction, stirring frequently.  Let this continue to cook over medium-high heat for approximately 20 minutes.  It will undergo quite a transformation.

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When the apples and onions are translucent, and the majority of the liquid absorbed, turn off the heat and let cool.  Congratulations 🙂


While the chutney is cooking down and doing its thing, prepare the pork.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare a roasting pan.


Grind the peppercorns fresh if you can.  I keep an extra coffee grinder just for spices.

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Combine pork tenderloins, garlic, olive oil, peppercorns and salt and place on a rack in a roasting pan.  I use a cooling rack and a turkey pan.  Bake for 25 minutes at 450 or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.


Tent your tenderloins and let rest for 10 minutes so that the juices can redistribute.


Thinly slice the pork and serve with the chutney.

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This dish is excellent cold with small portions on a cracker.

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Riesling Poached Pears

Pears are abundant in the fall at almost every market. If you are lucky, you can find the small Forelle pears that I use in this recipe. What they lack in size they make up for with flavor!  You could use other sweet pears for this recipe, just double the Riesling and add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time, depending on size.

5 Forelle Pears
1/3 cup sugar
1 Vanilla bean
3 Cups sweet Riesling


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Peel the pears and slice the vanilla bean down the center, scraping out the seeds inside.

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Add the sugar, vanilla seeds and pod, pears, a pinch of salt and Riesling to a saucepan.

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Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until soft, but not falling apart.  Remove the pears from the saucepan.


Continue to simmer the liquid until it has reduced by 3/4 into a sweet syrup that coats the back of a spoon.

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I recommend serving with vanilla ice cream.

This photo is courtesy of my friend Brent Stephens #Hipstacrat


Game Day Chili

Football Season = Chili.  I’ve never seen two recipes for chili that were the same.  Everyone has something unique that they do to make theirs special.  If you are looking for a recipe to enjoy or need a starting point to evolve your own recipe from, try my chili.



2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Vidalia Onion
2 Bell Peppers (red, green, yellow, all work well here)
2 Jalapeno Peppers
5 Cloves Garlic
2 Cans Chili Beans in Gravy
2 Cans DARK Red Kidney Beans
1 Can Black Beans
2 Cans Tomato Sauce
1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Pinch of Cinnamon
1 Cup Water
Olive Oil



Begin by browning your ground beef in a large cast iron dutch oven (mine is enameled but good ole cast iron is fine).  I always add a little olive oil to the pot before I add the meat.


Chop up the onion, garlic, and peppers evenly while the beef is browning.


Drain the meat in a colander and add the chopped veggies to the skillet with a little olive oil.


When they begin to turn translucent, add the meat.

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Drain all of the beans (except chili beans) and add all of them to the meat and veggie mixture.


This is important.  Add all of your spices and stir into the beans, veggies, and meat DRY.  Do not add tomatoes yet.  I find that this step makes sure everything is coated before the wet stuff is added.  I hate finding a dried lump of seasoning floating around like a bubble in the chili


Once everything is coated add the tomatoes and the tomato sauce, 2 bay leaves and 1 cup of water.

Cook, covered for 1 hour over medium heat until the beans are cooked through and all of the flavors have combined.


Be sure to remove your Bay leaves prior to serving!  Those things are sharp but offer so much flavor!


Please enjoy!