Brisket Time! April 8, 2014

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 6:01 pm
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holiday brisket

 5 lb brisket of beef

2 large onions, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 Tbs Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 28-oz ca crushed tomatoes,

1 cup red wine

1 cup beef broth

Kosher salt and pepper


Heat a large covered Dutch oven over a medium flame on top of the stove. Add olive oil to pot.  Season the meat with salt and pepper and place in pan. Raise heat slightly and sear meat until a light crust forms on both sides. Remove browned meat to a plate.

Pour off excess fat left in pan and return to burner.  Lower flame back to medium, add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add Cassoulet Seasoning and stir.

Pour in wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add beef broth and tomatoes, stir.  Return meat to pot and lower heat to a slow simmer. Cook covered for approx. 1 ½ to 2 hours, turning the meat half way through the cooking time.

Remove meat and slice on a diagonal.  Partially puree some of the vegetables in the pot.  I like to use an immersion blender for this.  Return sliced meat to pot, partially cover and cook an additional ½ –  hour.

Perfect to make ahead.  This freezes well.


Beef Stew January 8, 2014

Filed Under: Recipe - Sue Fuirst @ 3:50 pm
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classic beef stew


2 slices of bacon

2 lbs beef cubes

¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp flour

1 large onion, coarsely diced

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery, coarsely diced

3 large carrots, cut vertically and thickly sliced into half-moons

1 lb package frozen pearl onions

1 cup red wine

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

½ lb small white potatoes, cut into cubes

1 heaping tsp Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning

Kosher salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 tablespoon tomato paste



Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered.  Remove bacon and save for another use.  In the meantime, place ¼ cup of flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.  Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour, shake off excess, and add to bacon fat in pot.  Brown beef on all sides, work in batches to avoid over-crowding.  Transfer browned meat to a clean plate.


Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and pearl onions to pot and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat slightly and add wine to deglaze the pan.  Pour in diced tomatoes and beef stock.  Return browned beef to pot. Add potatoes and Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours. Alternately, place in slow cooker on low and cook for 4 hours.


While stew is cooking, in a small bowl, mash together butter, remaining 1 Tb flour and tomato paste until well blended.  Stir into stew to thicken and enrich the gravy. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve with rustic bread.



Have a Schmaltzy Good Time September 4, 2013

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 3:57 pm
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Rosh Hashana is here, the Jewish New Year, and boy is it early!  Brisket schmisket, how about firing up the grill?  Just kidding, I’m doing my holiday dinner like in the old country – schmaltz and all.  My only Basics Fuirst twist will be the pinch of Cassoulet Seasoning in my chopped liver.  I’m also adding a splash of this wonderful Fig Brandy I stumbled upon  (I am so grateful that my local wine shop was able to track it down for me – thanks Chappaqua Wines and Spirits!)

Not jewish or don’t want traditional jewish chopped liver?  Add to my recipe a full teaspoon of Cassoulet Seasoning, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and substitute vegetable oil for the schmaltz.  Pulse this in your food processor until smooth and you’ve got a wonderful pate.

Schmaltzy Chopped Liver

1 medium onion, sliced

2 generous tablespoons schmaltz aka chicken fat

1 lb chicken liver

2 tablespoons calvados (apple brandy), optional

2 hardboiled eggs

¼ tsp Cassoulet Seasoning

Kosher salt and ground white pepper

Heat schmaltz over medium heat in a sauté or fry pan.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, 15-20 minutes, until onions begin to caramelize.  Add chicken liver to pan. Season with the Cassoulet Seasoning and salt and pepper. Cook until liver begins to brown on the outside, but still tender, about 15 minutes.  Raise heat and add brandy.  Cook 2 minutes until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Using a meat grinder, feed contents of pan into mouth of grinder.  Alternate liver, egg, liver, egg.  Gently mix and check seasoning.  Moisten with schmatlz and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve.

Alternately, a food processor or knife and chopping bowl may be used.

Food Processor:  Coarsely chop liver and hardboiled eggs.  Place them in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until desired consistency.  Do not over pulse.  Chopped liver shouldn’t be completely smooth; you want texture.

Chopping Bowl:  place all in wooden bowl and chop, chop, chop.


The egg holidays are here! March 27, 2013

Filed Under: rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 8:57 pm
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Passover and Easter are all about the egg:  roasting, boiling, coloring, finding.  How about a nice frittata to highlight the season?  Perfect for Easter brunch or a brisket-weary Passover meal .


basic vegetable frittata

6 large eggs

3 tablespoons cream, half and half or milk

¼  teaspoon Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend

3 Tablespoons butter, oil or non stick spray

½ onion, diced – leek or scallions work too

1 small potato, cooked and then cut into ½” cubes

1 cup diced vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms – your choice

¼ cup grated cheese


Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, cream and Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over a medium flame.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter.  When butter foams, place onions in pan and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and vegetables and cook for an additional five minutes.  Melt remaining butter in pan.  Pour in egg mixture.  Stir gently to combine eggs and vegetables.  Let cook until eggs begin to set and the edges look cooked.  Top with grated cheese and place under broiler until cheese melts and turns lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Slice into wedges and serve.  Serves 4.