OMG friends!!! I am so excited to be back here blogging! It seems like forever. We were a busy bunch these last few months. Ryan and I saw some pretty great shows and our annual trip to Diamond Island was incredible per usual. The kids swam like fish and played night games with their friends. All in all, it was a damn near perfect summer here in Chicago. No complaints. However, it is time. Time for the chillins to get back to learning and back to a schedule. I would be lying through my horse teeth if I said I was sad to see the twins off to 2nd grade. Yes, they are growing up too fast! No, they should not be home, sans schedule for another second. I need structure and truth be told, they may have been more excited about getting back to school than I. Re-entry into 2nd grade was easy breezy with only a couple of tears. They missed their friends and kickball at recess. Isn’t that what school is all about for a pair of second graders? I think so. And, with the back to school routine comes a busy working mom (that’s me) and her obsession with making sure her family is fed well balanced, delicious meals. So guess what? I am actually going to share a recipe with you on the blog today! I can barely believe it myself. When we started this blog nearly two years ago, it was our plan that I share recipes with you all on the regular. Well, that didn’t happen. Being a newbie to the blog world, I was not aware of how much time it took to cook and photograph food. A full time working mom, soccer Saturdays and about 1,000 other things led to little time and even less natural sunlight to snap food shots for this amateur photog. So, yeah, my apologies. Live and learn. Right? Right.
On the flip side, I have been cooking my nips off in the kitchen and have been whipping up some pretty insane meals…if I do say so myself. I am excited to share today’s recipe with you as it proved to be perhaps one of my favorite things I have made as of late. This dish only required one big pan and I got to utilize some of the sage that is growing like crazy in my backyard. Anyone need any? Come and get it! This one was a first time for me. When I am looking to use up random ingredients I always go to my favorite cook books. I rarely go to the internet for recipe ideas. That seems weird, I know. I stumbled upon today’s recipe in one of Lidia’s cookbooks. You know, the busty Italian that cooks on PBS. I have to say, her recipes are legit and they never disappoint. When I read the ingredients and saw the recipe called for a dozen sage leaves the decision was made. Layered Casserole with Beef, Cabbage and Potato was on the menu. I will say, if you don’t mind doing a little work on the front end, the end product is well worth the wait because on the back end you get to put this one pan dish (I used my cast iron skillet) in the oven and let everything cook and the flavors marry for a luxurious 2 1/2 hours. The end result is a party in your mouth and the ultimate almost fall comfort dish. Ryan gave me that look. You know the one. “This is so good I want to bang you.” So yeah, it was awesome. Enough with all of the chit chatting. Let’s do this!
Layered Casserole with Beef, Cabbage and Potato
12 fresh sage leaves
1/4 c. rosemary leaves
8 plump garlic cloves
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Lbs. red potatoes, sliced 1/2 in. thick
4 Lb. boneless beef shoulder roast
1 stick butter (room temperature)
1 head savoy cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/2 in. shreds
2 c. white wine
1 lb. shredded fontina
Recommended Equipment: A food processor; large baking dish
~Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put sage, rosemary, garlic, 1/4 c. of olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt in the food processor. Mince into a fine textured pestata.
~Put potato slices in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. of the pestata. Toss the potato slices to coat.
~ Slice the beef across the grain into 3/4 in. slices. Just as you did with the potatoes, also put the meat into a bowl and toss until well coated. Use 1 tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. pestata.
~Brush your pan with the remaining olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter. Begin by arranging half the potato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Spread half the cabbage shreds evenly over the potato slices and season with a tsp. of salt. Spread the beef slices in a single layer over the cabbage. (The pan should be half full.)
~ Dot the beef with mounds of butter. (3 Tbsp. in all) Lay the remaining potato slices on top of the beef slices, spread the rest of the cabbage and season with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir the remaining pestata with the white wine and pour the mixture all over the cabbage shreds.
~ Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are tender and the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
~Remove the foil, spread the shredded Fontina of the top and back for another 15-20 minutes uncovered. The cheese should be melted, bubbly and browned and crispy.
~Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes or so and then spoon and serve.
~Prepare to be worshiped.
So here is the deal. I don’ t have a picture of the finished product because my family busted into it before I captured it. The good news is…there was none left. I think they liked it.
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