Guinness Braised Lamb Stew with Herbs de Provence and Roasted Parsnip Crust

Artizone Chicago and My Daily Find Chicago is having a Flavors of Fall Cooking Contest. I created this Guinness Braised Lamb Stew  with Herb De Provence and Roasted Parsnip Crust using my surprise contest box. I picked the Slow Cooked Category and received the most beautiful large parsnips and a bag of aromatic herb de Provence.

After a week of challenging myself to come up with a creative recipe, I put together this hopefully winning combo. But I need your help. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the recipe is, I need to popular vote to get the next round, before the serious food judges look at it. Can you help me out?

Please go here to vote for me.

Don’t you want to see me on TV demonstrating this fantastic recipe that will wow your dinner guests?

Lamb shanks, minced red onion and bits of parsnip are gently braised with Guinness Stout and aromatic Herbs de Provence until tender for a few hours. Strips of large parsnips are sliced paper thin , lightly tossed in olive oil, formed into a crust in a mini spring form pan, and filled with the lamb stew to roast until crispy on top and tender as a bottom crust. The sweet parsnip, the mild American Lamb shanks,aromatic herbs de Provence, and the rich slightly bitter Guinness all form together for the simple,elegant fall entrée that will impress your guests.

Guinness Braised Lamb Stew with Herbs de Provence and Roasted Parsnip Crust
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An elegant roasted parsnip crust filled with aromatic tender lamb stew.
  • 1 tablespoon Pommace oil
  • 2 lbs American Lamb shanks cut in half ( total 4 pieces)
  • 1 cup chopped cubed parsnip
  • ½ red onion minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
  • 11.2 oz bottle of Guinness
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 -3 very large wide parsnips
  • oloive oil for brushing
  • herbs de provence for garnish
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil.
  2. Add the lamb shanks and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides.
  3. Add the red onion and chopped parsnip.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for 1 hour until tender.
  6. Remove lamb shanks from pot, and remove meat from the bone.
  7. Add the meat back to to pot with the by now reduced liquid.
  8. Add the Guinness.
  9. In a separate small fry pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir constantly as the butter and flour form a roux. Cook until deep golden in color.
  10. Remove from heat and add the lamb and vegetable stock.
  11. Stir the mixture and and cook for 15 more minutes until thickened.
  12. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  13. With a mandolin carefully julienne very thin strips of peeled parsnip .
  14. Toss the various pieces of parsnip with olive oil , kosher salt an pepper.
  15. Take mini spring form pans and line with parsnip along bottom, sides, etc. Take the larger pieces and tuck into side to overlap the pan, like a flower. This is not precise, but you want to cover the top of the " pie" by using the various sized strips.
  16. Sprinkle with herbs de Provence.
  17. Wrap bottom of forms with foil and place on a baking sheet.
  18. Roast at 400 F for 5 minutes until edges satrt to rapidly brown. Reduce temp to 350 and roast for another 40 minutes until deeply caramelized and bubbly.
  19. Carefully unlock spring form and release upwards the pie onto a plate. ( works better if it sits for a few minutes to cool down).
need 4 small spring forms mandolin


Duck Rillettes on Goat Cheese Croquettes with Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish…Marx Foods Iron Foodie

I was stunned when it was announced by Foodie Blogroll and Marx Foods, that I was chosen as one of the twenty five challengers for Iron Foodie. I didn’t even see the email. As I said before, I have stopped with contests for a lot reasons. But this was real challenge that I believe is more about skill , than say…popularity.

Iron Foodie 2010 | Here's Why that will be me: -- Fine Bulk Foods The Foodie BlogRoll

A mystery box was sent to all of us, with instructions to make a dish with at least three of the eight ingredients  in the box. The box contained Aji Panca Chilies, Dried  Wild Porcini’s, Smoked Sea Salt,Maple Sugar, Fennel Pollen, Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Dulse( dried sea weed), and Tellicherry Peppercorns.

I chose to use four ingredients in my Amuse Bouche. Smoked Sea Salt, Fennel Pollen, Maple Sugar, andTellicherry Peppercorns. There are three components to this recipe that will go a long way.

Rillettes are slow cooked meat such as duck, pork, rabbit that are cured with salt and spices , then simmered in fat for hours, and then beat into a paste to eaten as a spread. Wonderful for the holidays and long lasting if preserved and sealed in fat.

Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish is a new take on a holiday staple. Rather than cooked stove top, I roasted the cranberries with less sugars and balsamic vinegar. The true flavors shine and are not masked by heavy sugars like traditional cranberry sauces. The tartness offsets the rich fattiness of the Rillettes.

Goat Cheese Croquettes are inspired by of one my favorite salads of crusted fried goat cheese with apples. I decided to make small patties to top off with the other two components. I rolled them in fennel pollen ,orange zest and panko before frying.

Be sure to have the rillettes at room temperature when assembling. Many of the components can be made ahead, leaving the goat cheese for last.

I was expecting this to be really rich. It is rich but not unbearably so. It’s like the entire holiday meal in one luscious mouthful.

Check out my other challengers.


Duck Rillettes on Goat Cheese Croquettes with Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish

Duck Rillettes

24-48 hours prep. Several hours cooking time.

  • 1 whole ducking quartered
  • 1 tsp  Marx Foods smoked sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Bay leaves
  • 4 allspice cloves
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • Marx Foods Ground Tellicherry black pepper
  • 2 tsp Marx Foods Fennel Pollen
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup Cognac

*you may want to purchase additional duck fat for sealing.

  1. In a dish season raw duck with salt, bay leaves, allspice, garlic, pepper, etc.
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 24 hrs, but up to 48 hours.
  3. Place seasoned duck in Dutch oven.
  4. Add vegetable stock and fennel pollen.
  5. Place and cover in oven at 250.
  6. Cook for 4-5 hours until liquid is mostly gone, meat is tender, and fat is rendered.
  7. Remove carcass bones and skin, allspice, bay leaves.
  8. Add the soft garlic cloves to meat pile.
  9. Strain liquid and fat and add to shredded meat with cognac, and continue to cook for a two more hours in oven.
  10. Reserve some fat.
  11. Beat meat with fat but not to make a paste.
  12. Place in jars or one dish.
  13. Cover with reserved fat to seal.
  14. Stores for several months in the refrigerator as long as sealed well in fat.

Black Pepper  Balsamic Cranberry Relish

Can be made days ahead

  • 1 bag /1lb cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons Marx Foods Maple Sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2-3tabslespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Ground Marx Foods Tellicherry Pepper
  1. Wash cranberries.
  2. Place in metal baking pan.
  3. Add maple sugar, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of water.
  4. Toss all ingredients.
  5. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Stir halfway through roasting.
  7. Remove from heat and cool.

Goat Cheese Croquettes

  • Log of goat cheese (4oz log makes 7 croquettes)
  • 1 tsp Marx Foods Fennel Pollen
  • Orange zest( 1 orange)
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil to coat pan
  1. Zest orange peel and add to fennel pollen.
  2. Make round patties with goat cheese by hand.
  3. Dust with fennel pollen mixed with orange zest.
  4. Roll in Panko.
  5. Heat oil. Fry croquettes on each side for a few minutes until panko crust is browned. Be careful and only turn minimally (once on each side)


Take a croquette. Top with rillettes. Top with cranberry relish. Garnish with dusting of fennel pollen and orange zest.


Win a Trip with to Dine with Chef Marcus Samuelsson at Red Rooster Harlem

I have to break away from the Great Hallow Tweet to tell my readers about this great event from Black Atlas at American Airlines! Or better yet, I will let the Top  Chef Master, Marcus Samuelsson , tell you himself. How opportune that this event falls on my birthday weekend! Wish me luck as I wish you luck in entering.

I don’t know about you, but visiting historic Harlem would be awesome. Let Marcus take you on a brief tour and show you his world.

Here is the information!

Register in the Black Atlas Community to enter now!


Registered Users of American’s Website Can Win Tickets to Meet Celebrity Chef and Sample Food and Wine at Pre-Opening Party on Nov. 15

Grand Prize Includes Trip for Two to New York City with Airfare,
Hotel, $200 Gift Card and Tickets to Event

NEW YORK – American Airlines, through, the first online travel community for people interested in Black culture, will host a private music, food and wine tasting for some of its lucky members next month. Registered users of will have the opportunity to join Travel Expert-at-Large Nelson George and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson on Nov. 15 for a preview of his eagerly-anticipated restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem.

Award-winning chef and cookbook author Samuelsson is the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star reviews from The New York Times, the first in 1995 after just three months as Executive Chef and co-owner of Aquavit, and the second in 2001, also for Aquavit. He has received consecutive four-star ratings in Forbes’ annual All-Star Eateries feature, was named one of the “40 Under 40” by Crain’s, and has been hailed as one of The Great Chefs of America by the Culinary Institute of America. Recently, Chef Samuelsson won out over 21 fellow chefs on the second season of the television competition “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo, and received $115,000 for the UNICEF Tap Project. A video of Chef Samuelsson exploring Harlem, the location of his new restaurant Red Rooster Harlem, can be found on

American Airlines and Chef Samuelsson will host a pre-opening dinner party at Red Rooster Harlem. The restaurant will celebrate the roots of American cuisine in one of New York City’s liveliest and most culturally-rich neighborhoods. The event will consist of a four-course meal, prepared specially by Chef Samuelsson. Each course will be paired with a South African wine, provided by Heritage Link Brands, the preeminent importer and distributor of wine produced by people of African descent throughout the world. A musical performance by American R&B and soul singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele will conclude the evening’s activities.

“These unique events in New York allow those of us at American Airlines to share and support our customers’ interests and build a closer relationship with them,” said Art Torno, American’s Vice President for New York. “It also allows us to show our support for such beloved New Yorkers as Chef Marcus Samuelsson, a ‘global citizen’ whose new restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, will represent the diverse tastes of American cuisine.”

Currently registered members of, and those who register between Oct. 27 and Nov. 4, will be entered to win a grand prize of one pair of tickets to the exclusive event, which will include round-trip Economy Class airfare for two to New York City on American from anywhere in the 48 contiguous united States, two-night hotel accommodations for two and a $200 gift card. The grand prize winner will be announced on or around Nov. 5. In addition, 15 users of who live in New York and New Jersey, who are currently registered or who register between Oct. 27 and Nov. 9, will also be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the event. Local winners will be announced on or around Nov. 10. See for full terms and conditions.

“, has taken social networking to new heights for Black travelers,” said Monte Ford, American’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “The online community has become the resource for those looking to explore their passions and interests in Black history and culture worldwide. has given Black travelers everywhere the opportunity to better plan their next trip and share their stories when they return.” is the first-of-its-kind social networking site combining the best features of a travel site with the power of an online social network for travelers to share experiences unique to the Black community. Through video, commentary, photos, and blogs, users can share content across social networks, create profiles, rate content, save content to Favorites, create downloadable travel guides and link to promotional fares on Content is categorized into destination/city-specific information and category-specific information, such as travel tips, restaurants, nightlife, culture, arts and museums, historic sites, beauty and barber shops, and places of worship. The Red Rooster Harlem Music, Food and Wine Pairing event is part of a series of events that American Airlines has been presenting exclusively for members of in New York.

For more information on Black culture, the Red Rooster Harlem Music, Food and Wine Pairing and the BlackAtlas social network, please visit

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning website,®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

AmericanAirlines® We know why you fly®

Current AMR Corp. releases can be accessed on the Internet.

The address is

Hot and Sour Soup… The Ultimate Brew and Cure All

As I type this this the evil winds are howling in Chicago. Wicked germs are flying around but I feel safe and warm after having some Hot and Sour soup. That is all I need to ward the wicked cold away.

I remember the first time I ever had Hot and Sour soup. I was repelled by the site. The thick dark concoction with unidentifiable things floating in it just didn’t appeal to meal.I didn’t even bother tasting the bowl put forth. Then years later at a better restaurant, I was enticed to try it and have been a fan ever since. It’s  my go to brew when I’m under the weather. Hot and Sour soup is the cure the common cold. Why am I posting this for the Great Hallow Tweet? Well its just the sort of brew I see a witch cooking up in her cauldron. Only the intentions and results are good.

Hot and Sour soup is one of China’s most popular soups, yet it can vary by region. The more spicier version being Szechuan of course. Vegetarian versions can be made too with vegetable stocks and no meat. If you are lucky you will find Lily buds( golden needles) which add the healthful benefit .They look like fingernails  .I’m not sure about the mushrooms I got in the market but I thought they were beautiful. Most recipes call for Cloud Ear and other dried mushrooms. A well stocked Asian Market will have the mushrooms and Lily buds  dried. Hot and Sour Soup gets it’s heat from white pepper  and the sour from vinegar. I kicked my heat up a notch with the addition of red chili oil.Remember prep is key to this recipe.


Hot and Sour Soup

  • Various dried mushrooms
  • 4-6 pieces dried mushrooms like Shitake
  • 12 pieces of Cloud Ear mushrooms
  • 3 cups boiling water for soaking
  • 10-12 pieces of dried Lily Buds
  • 1/2 cup chopped  raw pork ( tenderloin, chop)
  • 1/2 bamboo shoots
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 6 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 cup diced firm tofu
  • 3-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • Scallions to garnish
  1. In a bowl soak your dried mushrooms with enough boiling water to cover.Cover with a plate and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Soak Lily Buds in warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Marinate chopped pork with 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce for 20-30 minutes. While the other items are soaking.
  4. Drain mushrooms and Lily buds.Set aside 1/4 cup of mushroom soaking liquid.
  5. Slice the mushroom and Lily Buds thinly , discarding any hard parts.
  6. In small bowls mix your cornstarch and the reserved mushroom liquid in one. In another  mix your vinegar, remaining soy sauce with sugar and salt.
  7. In a large wok or sauce pan heat with peanut oil until very hot.
  8. Add drained chopped pork and stir-fry for a few minutes until no longer red.
  9. Add ginger.
  10. Add mushrooms and Lily Bud’s and drained bamboo shoots.
  11. Stir-fry for a few minuted.
  12. Add Chicken or Beef stock and bring to a boil.
  13. Add Tofu.
  14. Bring to another boil.
  15. Add vinegar and stir in.
  16. Add cornstarch and water. The soup should start to thicken. If you feel you need more, add more dissolved cornstarch in water to reach desired level of thickness.
  17. Beat egg with some sesame oil and add in a drizzle to the soup.
  18. Add the white pepper and remaining  sesame oil. At this point you can add chili oil to add desired amount of heat.
  19. Taste and adjust with any extra soy , vinegar, or sugar needed.
  20. Serve garnished with scallions and an extra drizzle of chili oil.


Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider… A Witches Brew for the Great Hallow Tweet

There was an old cabin in the woods. It was rumored that there lived an witches coven who blended magical brews in their cauldrons.  It was only on  Hallows Eve that the town folk were fearless. The aromas of cinnamon and spice filled the air  and beckoned anyone in their vicinity to their door. Taking the young ones trick or treating left most exhausted and the siren call of a warm fire and a hot drink could not be turned down. Upon entry one is greeted by other townsfolk who were lured by the promise of warmth and hospitality.

“Yummm, There is no Eye of Newt or  Toe of Frog in this brew!” a guest proclaimed.

” Oh, There was some bubble, bubble, but it really wasn’t much of a toil and trouble to make. Would you like the recipe?” asked the witch?


Hot Buttered Rum With Apple Cider

Serves  4 small cups or 2 big mugs

  •  2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 cup Dark Rum or more depending on taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons  Brown sugar
  •  a  few cloves to taste
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Whipped Cream
  1. In a saucepan  melt butter with brown sugar. Do not burn sugar.
  2. Add cinnamon, nutmeg,  cloves and cider.Heat until almost a boil.
  3. Add rum and lower heat to simmer a few minutes.
  4. Strain while pouring into cups.
  5. Top with with whipped cream.