|photo courtesy of Chef Craig Flinn (via his Facebook feed)|
A few relevant links:
- Chef Craig Flinn's bio and bookshop on the Chives website
- A great post from It's Passable about a black-box challenge Craig did for them
- An article in the Chronicle-Herald and the award video about his being named Taste of Nova Scotia's Culinary Ambassador of the Year 2012
- A profile written for The Coast when he was named their Best Chef in 2008 - as he was also named in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009.
- His Facebook and Twitter feeds
- Chives' Lobster Rolls (and many more recipes in the sidebar)
The first is his maple balsamic syrup, from his first cookbook, Fresh & Local (page 179). At Chives, it's used as a garnish and to add an extra sumthin'-sumthin' to a diverse range of dishes. At my place, we love it with olive oil and fresh-baked bread, substituted for regular balsalmic vinegar on salads, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream and strawberries from the garden.
|Adding the maple syrup after reducing the balsamic vinegar - I always double the recipe.|
2 cups (500 mL) cooking-grade balsamic vinegar (nothing too expensive)
1 cup (250 mL) amber (Grade B) maple syrup
In a saucepan, reduce vinegar by one-half. Add maple syrup and reduce by one-third. Cool completely and store in a food-safe garnishing bottle (available from a good kitchen supply store) or a used mustard bottle. The syrup should have the same consistency as loose molasses and can be adjusted by adding a few drops of water or reducing a little more over high heat. Yields 1 2/3 cups.
|Seriously, try it with strawberries and ice cream.|
- 2 lbs (900 g) sliced onions
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 2 lbs (900 g) cubed venison stew meat (such as shoulder or butt)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) paprika (Hungarian or smoked)
- 1/2 tsp (3 mL) cayenne pepper or chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cumin
- 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 ripe red tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) beef broth, water or red wine
Place a large braising pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat and saute the onions in the oil until slightly brown in colour (about 10 minutes). Add all the remaining ingredients and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover with the lid; cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables look limp and have released their water. Uncover the pot and cook the goulash until the onions are melted and the venison is tender, about 3 hours. It may be necessary to add a little liquid from time to time, depending on the rate of reduction.Serve the goulash with buttered noodles, steamed rice, or potato. Serves 6 to 8.I don't actually have a braising pot yet (oh Santa...) so I used the method for slow cooker braising described by theKitchn. I also upped the proportions a bit, with 3 pounds each of onions and bison and everything else rounded up appropriately. I chopped the onions in quarters instead of slicing them (and set aside the skins for my dyepot), browned them in my trusty cast-iron skillet and transferred them to my slow cooker. Then I browned the cubed bison, added all the remaining ingredients, simmered until the veggies had gone limp, and threw everything into my slow cooker on low for 6 hours, with the lid off for the last 2 hours so the sauce could reduce down.
|The red onions after browning in the skillet over high heat.|
|This photo smelled so delicious. Cubed bison over high heat in the skillet.|
|Sugar and spice will make this extra nice.|
|Everything but the onions in the skillet over low heat.|
|The rest of the ingredients join the onions in the slow cooker.|
|After four hours in the slow cooker.|
|Presenting: Bison Goulash on buttered linguini!|