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Saturday, December 3, 2011

To warm the heart.

My friends. It's cold. Even here in my desert paradise. It finally feels like Christmas is on it's way.
  Let's pause, dive into the kitchen and create something to warm the bones.
  This is a classic French dish that I dig out every year. Smoked sausage, mustard and potatoes. A grip of bitter herbs and some dry white wine.
 I'm sending out love to you all. A bowl of this will cure any cold. Warm every Scrooge-heart. Gives you the strength to brave the mall.
 Watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" over a steaming bowl and I promise that Santa will visit you.
 Yes I believe in Santa.

So here it goes

Chef Nick's Ragout of shallots, smoked sausage and mustard.


about a dozen shallots, peeled (bwaahahahha)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic peeled
2 TB mustard seeds
some dry white wine (most of a bottle)
some beef stock (maybe 2 cups)
a grip of red-skinned potatoes, quartered
a jar of French mustard (do you have any grey-poupon?)
a bunch of bitter herbs, parsley, thyme, rosemary, chopped fine
one or two dried Bay-leaf
a pound of smoked sausage, sliced thick
Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
a big heavy pot

Peeling shallots is a bitch. The dry skins are sticky and thin. Man up. Slice off both ends and with the tip of a sharp knife make a thin slice along the length. Peel the jacket off.
like this

With the peeled garlic and shallots you should have a big plate of this

Heat up your big pot, add some oil. Drop your mustard seeds in. They pop like corn so wear a shirt.

Once they start to pop add the shallots. Toss around with some salt and pepper.

Let those go around on heat for about 15 minutes and then add the carrots, toss around. 
Add half of your herbs. Toss around again. Add Bay leaves. 

Let it all go on medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the white wine and beef stock. Let it go boil for 10 minutes. Add the 'taters. 

Bring it all to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Test the potatoes with a fork. If they slide off they're done. 

Great job. Now here's the magic. Mustard is a natural thickener. Scoop out about half of the jar and blend into the pot. Bring it back to hot. Add the sausage. Warm thru and take off heat. Garnish with any remaining herbs. Serve up. This will kill any cold germs. It laughs at the flu. Warms you from the inside-out. Eat up. 

We are cooking poor, eating rich. Get your grub on. Ciao


  1. They pop like corn so wear a shirt??? Hahahahahahaha! Ok now I can finish reading the recipe, yum!

  2. I only wear a shirt when it's cold

  3. OK Nick, made the sausage ragout for dinner, family loved it, I loved it!

    BTW, this is Kim Hayes from WHS/Facebook, thanks so much, now I've got another great Winter dish!

  4. You are so very welcome !! I'm deeply honored