Photos by Pattie Garrett.
Colder nights create excuses to make meals that warm the soul. If you’re looking for ideas, check out some of the cookbooks that farmers and volunteers with the Saratoga Farmers’ Market use. These books offer instructions and ideas for bringing out the finest flavors of our local foods and insights into the lives of those who grow and create these foods year-round:
For basics, start with The Joy of Cooking, which has been on volunteer Alexandra Morgan’s bookshelf since she received it as a graduation gift in 1993. Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking, which Leah Hennessy of Moxie Ridge Farm & Creamery describes as “what I’m all about,” similarly is more about the simplicity of such processes as dressing game, curing pork, making butter.
For meat, Christophe Robert of Longlesson Farm swears by two books. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s The River Cottage Meat Book has recipes for the beef and pork cuts he sells at the market “that are spot on.” Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating is Robert’s “book that lets me dream.” Its recipes are more challenging, but Robert says, they speak to an ethics of raising animals and eating meat in a way that uses the whole animal with love and care.
Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking remains market volunteer Chris Toole’s favorite cookbook in her collection of 100-plus for such recipes as daube de boeuf (a beef stew marinated in red wine), because the ingredients “almost all are available right here, at the market.”
Making the most of maple is Slate Valley Farm’s Gina Willis’s passion. She is writing her own cookbook, based on recipes from her grandmother and great-grandmother for using the maple products made at her family’s farm. She often turns to chef Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochoon Sugar Shack for inspiration.
And when in doubt the Internet offers quick answers. Mark Bocain of Freddy’s Rockin’ Hummus appreciates Rachael Ray’s cooking site for meal ideas “that fall somewhere between simple and elaborate.” Volunteer Jim Gupta-Carlson types his ingredients on hand into a search box. Scrolling through the results often determines what he makes for dinner on a given night.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Julia Child's Daube de Boeuf (Beef Stew)
* Find these Ingredients at the Farmers’ Market!
• 1, 3” stick of cinnamon
• Orange zest: 2 stripes, 1.5” wide and 2.5” long)
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme*
• 2 dried bay leaves
• 1 tsp. black peppercorns
• 4 sprigs fresh parsley*
• 3 cloves, whole
• 2 medium stalks of celery, cut into ½” slices. (Reserve the top leaves.)
• 3 onions*, thinly sliced
• 3 garlic* cloves, crushed and chopped
• 3 medium-sized carrots", peeled and cut into ½” slices crosswise
• 3 lbs. beef*, cut 1 ½” cubes
• 8 oz. lean bacon*, cut 1” slices
• 1 bottle full-bodied red wine*
• ¼ cup Cognac
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup beef stock
• ¾ cup Nicoise olives
• 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 tsp. salt
• ¼ cup fresh parsley*, chopped
• 1 ½ cup Basmati rice
1. Put the orange zest, cinnamon stick,
thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves,
celery leaves and parsley onto a layer
of cheesecloth and tie it up to make a
bouquet garni. Put it aside.
2. Get a big, non-reactive dish and add celery,
garlic, beef, onions, carrots, bouquet garni,
and bacon, all at once. Pour the cognac
and wine over the mixture. Put the mixture
in refrigerator to marinate for 24 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 325° F. Remove beef
from vegetable-wine mixture, and put
on a kitchen towel for draining.
4. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Put
the beef into the pan along with some
flour. Cook until it turns brown.
5. Remove the beef and deglaze the skillet
with tomato paste and beef stock. Scrape
all the browned bits of beef from the
6. Mix the pan sauce, salt, olives, beef, and
vegetable-wine mixture together in an
ovenproof dish. Cover it. Next, braise
the beef for 2 to 3 hours, until it is
tender. If you want your stew to be
thicker, check after 2 hours of cooking
and remove the lid for the rest of the time.
7. Prepare the rice according to the
direction given on package. Garnish
your stew with cooked rice and parsley.
Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe for Daube de Boeuf featured on www.juliasrecipes.com