With the holiday season in full-swing, we’re bracing ourselves for weeks of wall-to-wall cocktail parties, festive brunches, and post-work happy hours. In the name of spreading a little cheer, you may find yourself feeling spread a bit thin. So choose your RSVPs wisely, and make sure to leave a little time for yourself to recharge amidst the candy-cane filled chaos. Whether it’s binge-watching a series (I’m looking at you, Master of None) or a movie marathon, you owe yourself a night of screen time. And if you’re still at a lost for what the hell to watch on Netflix, might we suggest taking a spin on the most useful movie and TV website ever created? Aptly named, “What The Hell Should I Watch On Netflix?”
Now that you’ve got your viewing schedule sorted, it’s time to think food. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with three easy, tummy-filling recipes that are meant to be eaten from a big bowl, curled up with a blanket, on your sofa or bed. There’s no shame in a night in, especially when it’s this delicious. So grab your booze of choice, the coziest blanket you’ve got, and prepare to Netflix and… you know the rest.
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, cut into small (1/4 inch) cubes
2 carrots, cut into small (1/4 inch) cubes
2 Tbs curry powder
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger root (or 2 tsp dried ginger powder)
1 stalk fresh lemon grass (bash the stalk open with handle of knife to release essential oils) or substitute 2 tsp of dried lemon grass
2 cups vegetable broth
1 16 oz can of coconut milk
2 16oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt to taste
To Serve: Sliced scallion, lime wedges, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil and add the diced onion. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the diced sweet potato and carrots (the smaller you dice these, the quicker they will cook, so we went for a ¼ inch dice to ensure this pot of curry would be done in under 30 minutes). Stir vegetables and season with salt (about 1 to 2 teaspoons). Sauté about 5 minutes, to get some golden color on the veg.
3. Add your curry powder, ginger root, and lemon grass to the pot. Stir to incorporate, then pour over the two cups of vegetable broth and the can of coconut milk.
4. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until vegetables are cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes (if you went with a larger dice on the veg this will take a bit longer).
5. Uncover, and add the cooked and rinsed beans. Allow to simmer an addition one to two minutes, just to warm the beans.
6. Dish out into bowls and top with scallion, sesame seeds, cilantro, and lime. Serve with naan or pita bread for sopping up all that sauce.
To Drink: A crisp, dry white wine (think Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay) is a perfect partner to cut through the creamy curry.
2 pound pork butt (any size will do, it will just impact your cooking time– the general rule is about 45 to 50 minutes of braising per pound of meat)
kosher salt to season
a few tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red onions, diced
4 pablano peppers, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs ground corriander seed
2 Tbs ground cumin seed
1/2 cup Goya cilantro cooking base (called Recaito, available in most grocery stores)
3 cups additional liquid, in the form of water, stock, or beer
To Serve: a few lime wedges, corn or flour tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, sliced raw onions, hot sauce of choice, brown rice
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 300 degrees, and putting a heavy-bottom, oven proof pot over medium-high heat.
- Add enough oil to the pot to coat the bottom and season the pork butt all over with plenty of salt.
- Drop the pork into the pot to sear. It will take about 6 to 8 minutes per-side to get a nice caramelization on the meat. Do not try to turn the meat too soon or it will stick to the pot– you’ll know the pork is ready to flip when it easily comes away from the bottom of the pot.
- While you’re pork is searing, use the time to chop up your onions, peppers, and garlic.
5. Once the pork is seared on all sides, remove it from the pot onto a plate. Reduce the heat on the pot to medium and add in your onions and peppers. Sauté about five minutes to get a bit of color on the vegetables. Since we are going to be braising for a few hours, we don’t need to worry about fully cooking them at this point.
6. Now add to the pot the diced garlic and the Goya cilantro cooking base, and allow to cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Add in your spices and about three cups of liquid (water, beef or chicken stock, beer, or a mixture of these things all work nicely). Be sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape up any tasty bits from the bottom of the pot at this point.
8. Carefully lower the seared pork butt back into the pot. The liquid should come up about 3/4 of the way over the meat. Add more if needed.
9. Cover the pot and put the whole thing in the 300 degree oven for approximately 4 hours. Again, the cooking time will depend on the size of the pork you have. The general rule is about 50 minutes per pound of meat. You will know the meat is done when it pulls apart easily and it tastes tender with no bite-back.
10. Once the pork has had a chance to braise, take the meat out of the pot and shred it, being careful to remove any large chunks of fat and the bone (if you got a bone-in cut.) The cooking liquid can be put back on top of the stove over low heat while you shred the meat.
11. Add the juice of a fresh lime to the cooking liquid, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed.
12. Reunite the meat with the cooking liquid, and serve heaping spoonfuls over corn or flour tortillas and rice. Garnish as you like with avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, and raw or pickled onions and more fresh lime wedges.
To Drink: A six-pack of your favorite Mexican beer + some good Mezcal or Tequila for sipping.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
kosher salt to season
2 Tbs vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, diced
1 Tbs smoked paprika
2 Tbs ground cumin seed
2 Tbs ground coriander seed
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 to 4 peppers, depending on how much heat you want)–dice the peppers and include some of the adobo sauce as well
1 24 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
To Serve: sour cream, fresh cilantro, scallions, shredded cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place an oven-proof pot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil to the pot and allow to heat up until the oil is smoking slightly.
- Season beef cubes with plenty of salt. Working in batches, brown the beef cubes in the pot. Given the quantity of meat, it may take two or three batches to brown all of the meat. Be careful not to put too much meat in the pot at one time, as you want to make sure each cube of beef can sear on the bottom. Remove meat to a bowl as it browns evenly on all sides.
- Once all the beef has been browned, reduce heat to medium and add the diced onions and garlic. (The pot may need a few more tablespoons of oil to keep the veg from sticking). Sauté the veg for about 5 minutes, just long enough to get a bit of caramelization on the onions.
5. Now it’s time to build up the flavor, so grab the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon (trust us!) and however many peppers in adobo sauce as you like (1 for low grade heat up to 4 for a real scorching chili, or more if you’re brave) and toss them into the pot. Also make sure to add some of the adobo sauce (2 to 3 tablespoons is plenty). Stir to coat the onions and garlic.
6. Add the seared beef cubes back in to the pot, along with the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir everything to combine, and add enough water to the pot to just barely cover the beef with liquid.
7. Place the lid on the pot and pop the whole thing in the 300 degree oven. The meat is going to braise for approximately 3 hours, or until it is super tender (so much so that you can cut a chunk with a spoon).
8. Before serving, taste the chili and adjust for seasoning by adding more salt or chipotle peppers for heat if needed. If you like beans in your chili, now is the time to add the can of kidney beans to the pot. The heat of the chili fresh from the oven will warm the beans plenty.
9. Scoop into big bowls and serve with some store-bought corn bread and plenty of toppers like sour cream, scallion, or shredded cheese.
Featured image via Kristin Stangl