Monday, November 4, 2013

Menu Planning: Autumn Dinner

Harvey's Market has a vast selection of locally raised meat. It is conveniently located in Union Market. We recently checked out some of their products to create a delicious fall menu to share.  Their featured local meats are raised naturally. “Natural” means the animal led a truly natural life filled with sunshine, access to fresh water, plenty of room to roam and space where normal animal behavior can be expressed. That natural life doesn't include any use of unnecessary antibiotics, added growth hormones or consumption of animal by-products, making the meat naturally tender and full of flavor.  We had a blast dining with my cousins and friends.  Recreate this menu at home and enjoy!
Fun day with my cousins before the big dinner.


Steak Au Poivre 
Savory Sausage Bread Pudding
Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon
Lindt Chocolates 

Main Dish:  Steak Au Poivre

We used Harvey's Market Rib-eye from Roseda Farm, located 30 miles north of Baltimore. Naturally raised on pasture all it's life (with no hormones or antibiotics) until the last 3 weeks then only grains are introduced into the diet to add intramuscular fat after that it's dry-aged 21 days before it arrives at the market.  The meat has the perfect amount of marbling.  It is super tender and melts in your mouth.  This recipe is for 4, but you can multiply it depending on the size of your gathering.

4 tablespoons of ground pepper
4 Roseda Farm rib-eye steaks from Harvey's Market
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Cognac (I like Campus VSOP)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Spread the pepper out on a baking sheet. Season meat on both sides with salt, then press the meat into the pepper, coating both sides. 

Heat the same pan over medium high heat and coat with olive oil. Arrange the meat in the pan (I use a Le Creuset cast iron skillet) and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the meat to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. 

Deglaze the pan with the Cognac and make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits in the bottom. Add cream and reduce for about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the steaks.

Side Dish:  Savory Sausage Bread Pudding

The Sausage has fresh local (Mt. Airy, MD) Berkshire Hams and Dry aged Berkshire pork shoulders and loins. These Naturally raised, pastured animals have not received antibiotics and have no animal by-products in their diet.  This sausage is actually made with bacon!   (Ingredients - Fresh pork, Benton's Bacon, salt, roasted red pepper, black pepper, garlic, savory and marjoram.)

1 pound of  Backwoods bacon sausage from Harvey's Market
1/2 yellow onion, minced 
1/2 pound cremini mushroms, sliced 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
One 1-pound loaf of Challah, bread cut into 1-inch cubes 
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese 
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups milk 
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 


Preheat the oven to 350°.  In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Brown sausage in a skillet and transfer to the bowl.  Add in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and mix.  

Beat the eggs in a small bowl with milk and cream. Stir into the bread and let stand for 15 minutes until absorbed. Butter gratin dish or 13 x 9 pan and cook for 35 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and broil for about 30 seconds, or until golden. Serve hot. 

Side Dish:  Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon

The bacon comes from (Allen) Benton's in Tennessee and has been as rated the best bacon in the country.  I agree with the rating.  The smokiness is amazing and the aroma sticks around for a bit.

1 pound fresh green beans

8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Benton's bacon from Harvey's Market

Bring a medium pot of cold water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. 

Trim the stem end off the green beans. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dice the bacon into small pieces.  Fry until browned.  Remove from pan and add the mushrooms.  Saute until cooked.  

Drop the green beans into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Add the green beans and bacon back with the mushrooms.  Season with salt and some pepper to taste and serve immediately.


Lindt Chocolates are simple and delicious.  They have just the right amount of sweetness craved after a meal.
Me and the owners of Harvey's Market (Marty and George)

Wine:  I served the meal with a Meritage from California and a Brunello from Italy.  Both stood up to the meat.

No comments: