Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie

Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie
This is just really simple and good. Every kid everywhere will eat this and ask for it again and again. Grownups like it, too.
  • 1 whole chicken (Cheat with a market rotisserie chicken and you can be done in a flash)
  • 2 onions
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon
  • Good sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper . . .
  • Garlic powder . . .
  • Onion powder . . .
  • Cinnamon . . . (a little of each . . . maybe a half teaspoon, but mostly just to taste)
  • A little nutmeg . . . maybe a teaspoon
  • 2 tablespoons good thick balsamic
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Boil the chicken and shred the meat. Set aside.
  2. Sauté onions in your favorite oil until light and translucent. Add remaining ingredients, except for the cheese. Bring to a boil and add the shredded chicken.
  3. Cover with mashed potatoes (Yukon gold make the best mashed . . . and use real butter, would you? The trick to perfect mashed potatoes every time is to melt the butter in the milk before adding to the potatoes). Cover with a little shredded Parm and bake for about 45 minutes at 350ºF.


Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs
Serve with a good Beaujolais cru for a soft, warm feeling of contentment that will get you through winter down to about minus-ten degrees. After that, nothing much helps.
  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs
  • A little bit of good olive oil
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ⅓ cup good balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup dark cocoa
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • few cayenne pepper flakes
  • lots of tarragon
  • 1 cup (ish) red wine
  1. Mix all ingriedients, except meat, and simmer. Sear the ribs in the olive oil on very high heat for a deep brown color and then put into simmering pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer till tender . . . couple of hours, usually.
  2. Serve on top of cheddar grits for a deeply rich and satisfying winter meal.