s fall officially slips into winter, we see temperatures dropping below freezing, snow on the ground, and hazy gray skies. It is this time of year that we start to crave those dishes that warm us. Not only are we looking for hearty food to literally warm our shivering bodies, but food that will warm our homes and souls, as well. It is those dishes that spend hours roasting in the oven or bubbling away on the stove top, keeping our house toasty and filled with embracing aromas, and the dishes that warm our spirits to get us through the winter months. This is true comfort food.
This winter, warm up your family with the following:
- Soup is always a winter classic, especially one that is earthy and creamy like Three-Mushroom Soup with Sherry.
- Stews are similar to soup, but usually have larger chunks of meat and vegetables, along with a thickened broth. Stews like this Irish Stew Variation are great served with a loaf of warm, crusty bread.
- It seems everyone has a favorite chili recipe that they whip up as soon as the weather turns cold. For something different this winter, try Anasazi Cowboy Chili with Buffalo and Nopales.
- “Braising” means to first sear a large piece of meat and then simmer it very slowly in a flavorful liquid. This technique will make even the toughest cuts of meat fork tender. For a satisfying, slow-cooked meal, try Chef Donal Crosbie's Guinness Braised Wagyu Boneless Beef Short Ribs, White Wine-Braised Pork Belly with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, or Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks.
- A nice roasted piece of meat is a simple, comforting meal. Please everyone with a Tender Roast Chicken with Chestnut Corn-Bread Dressing – an everyday meal with holiday flavors.
- A “ragu” or “ragout” is a thick, flavorful sauce that is often served over pasta. Winter is the perfect time for thick tagliatelle noodles, served with either Texas Boar Ragu or Porcini Mushroom Ragu.
- Lastly, we haven’t forgotten about some other comfort food favorites, like Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Tasso Ham and Grits, Cassoulet D'Artagnan, and Osso Buco.
Soups, stews, chilis, and braised items keep well in the fridge and actually get better after a day or two. They also freeze well. So, make a big batch and spread the love over a few meals, or pack some for a lunch for something warm to look forward to in the middle of the work day.