Because the best things in life are simple

Tag: Steak

Forget the Snow, It’s Stew-A-Palooza – 2015

Forget the Snow, It’s Stew-A-Palooza – 2015

Dorm Room Chef: Dante de Magistris Makes Steak Pizzaiola from Mark Micheli on Vimeo.

(This is one of my favorite recipes from the weekly Dorm Room Chef series I produced during 2014. It’s steak pizzaiola made in a slow cooker: easy and delicious. Watch the video above, or read the recipe below.)

Here’s a collection of stews I compiled from good restaurants and cookbooks. I’ve made them all and enjoyed eating them more. Hopefully, you’ll have some of these ingredients on hand so you can make one of these dishes. But if not, watch the video and look at the pretty photos. It will warm you up more than looking at snow photos on Facebook.

The governor of Massachusetts declared a snow emergency and I’m declaring it stew-a-palooza — 2015!


  1. Geneva’s Quick Chicken And Shrimp Gumbo
  2. Shrimp Saute
  3. Easy Beef Bourguignon
  4. Coq Au Vin Blanc (The same as Easy Beef Bourguignon, only with chicken)
  5. Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon
  6. Blanquette De Veau (French Veal Stew)
  7. Lobster Stew
  8. Steak Pizzaiola

Steak Pizzaiola (in a slow cooker)

January 27, 2015
: 4
: 10 min
: 3 hr
: 3 hr 10 min
: Easy

This is one of my favorite Dorm Room Chef recipes. It’s easy — you just throw everything into a slow cooker and wait — and it’s delicious. Lots of flavors here — tart from the capers; sweet from the peppers; and hot from the red pepper flakes — with none of them overpowering the other. And it makes enough for four hungry college students.


  • 2 lbs sirloin flap beef, (steak tips) sliced thin against the grain (about ¼ inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, (or more if you like it hot)
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons capers, plus some of it’s juice
  • 1 can 12 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino cheese
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 red or green pepper, sliced up
  • 1 medium size zucchini, sliced in half moons
  • Step 1 Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, mix it up, put the lid on, turn to high heat, set timer for 3 hours. Serve hot.
Nothing But Farm Fresh Meat For Six Months

Nothing But Farm Fresh Meat For Six Months

The meat from the farm comes frozen in individual packets.
The meat from the farm comes frozen in individual packets.

Six months ago we joined a meat CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). During that time all of our meat came from the Houde Family Farm in northeast Vermont.

The meat has been tastier, and I believe healthier, than anything you can get in a supermarket. Each month we’ve had tender cuts of steak, veal cutlets, lamp chops and the most delicious bacon delivered to our door.

Home delivery is a real plus as most CSAs (both meat, produce and fish ones) require you to pick up your weekly or monthly allotment at a drop-off point.

The cost per pound is higher than supermarket prices ($7.50) but I don’t believe we’re spending more money on meat. Perhaps, we’ve cut back on our meat consumption (I haven’t kept score). But I don’t buy meat anywhere else and my freezer is always filled with plenty of meat.

The types of cuts you get varies from week to week. Each delivery is comprised of 50 percent higher priced meats such as steaks and perhaps an occasional rack of lamb and 50 percent lower priced meats, such as ground beef, pork and bacon.

You can also choose not to get certain types of meat. For instance,  if you don’t like lamb (and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t) or veal (are you insane?) you can specify that when you buy your share.

The deal is you have to pay up front for your meat share. This allows the small independent farmer to plan his business better.

Houde Farm now offers four month plans and you can choose to get 10, 15 or 20 pounds delivered each month. In Massachusetts they deliver to Andover, Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Lynnfield, Lynn, Malden, Marblehead, Medford, Melrose, Nahant, Peabody, Reading, Salem, Somerville, Stoneham, Swampscott, Wakefield, Waltham, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn.

You can also order extras each month for an additional cost. Extras include farm fresh eggs (much better tasting than supermarket eggs), pork roasts, honey, and jam.

Surprisingly, I think the most notable difference between farm fresh meat and supermarket meat is in the lesser-priced meats. The hamburger, ground veal and bacon are more flavorful. And the pork roasts, divine.

Not too many independent farmers sell chicken because they cost a lot to produce, but Houde Farm started selling chickens this month (more on that in another post).

Meanwhile, consider doing yourself and an independent farmer a favor. Look into CSAs in your area and/or shop at farmer’s markets.

The season for locally grown, fresh produce is upon us and I can’t wait to finish off a succulent steak dinner with a serving of shortcake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.