Korean Baeckeoffe (Korean-French Fusion)

It’s Spring time here in wine country and the weather can’t make up its mind. In the mornings the marine layer is still thick, creating a blanket of low clouds and cold, foggy air. By mid-day it’s warm without a cloud in the sky and we are opening the windows to greet the day. By nightfall it’s cold again, so needless to say there are sniffly noses and many layers being worn. However these conditions are perfect for many types of grapes being grown and for many local wineries to thrive. Today’s dish is a humble lamb and vegetable casserole straight from the Alsace region of France. Known for rustic dishes and spicy sauces, Alsace is a rural Northern region that borders Germany and Switzerland. Baeckeoffe is a hearty casserole to warm any stomach on a cold, dreary day and it’s simple enough for any noob to make.

Just grab whatever root vegetables are in season and 2 pounds of lamb shoulder. Dice everything into bite sized pieces. Get a 4 quart roasting pan, (or a casserole dish with aluminum foil to cover), and begin layering your casserole: veggies, meat, and then veggies on top. For the Korean twist to this French classic, sprinkle a pinch of gochugaru (red pepper powder) on the lamb before roasting. Then, add chopped kimchi in the “meat layer” of the casserole. Pour a bottle of while wine on the top of everything, cover and bake! Note: Alsace is known for their Rieslings so try and pick one up at your local market. I picked mine up at the grocery for $10 USD. Roast everything for 2.5 hrs. and you’re done!

As I curled up in my living room waiting for the baeckeoffe to finish I was tantalized with every inhale. My tiny home smelled absolutely incredible. All the juices of the vegetables and lamb dripped together in the bottom of the roasting pan and mixed into the white wine to make the most delicious broth to serve with this casserole. I was so excited that I jumped up, and made a loaf of winter molasses bread in the bread machine to lap up every drop. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get in the kitchen and cook up this amazing French dish. Enjoy this recipe everyone and let me know what you think! Have an awesome day!

Korean Baekeoffe (Lamb and Vegetable Casserole)
Korean Baekeoffe (Lamb and Vegetable Casserole)

Korean Baeckeoffe (Lamb and Vegetable Casserole)

Serves: 4 generously

Courtesy of: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, The Kimchi Chronicles cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups kimchi, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces, fat discarded
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru (red pepper powder)
  • 1 bottle (750ml) white wine, preferably an Alsatian Riesling
  • A good baguette and/or white rice for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. Using a 4 quart baking dish, place half of the potatoes in the bottom and sprinkle with a little salt.
  3. Top with half of the onions, carrots, scallions, garlic, and kimchi.
  4. Season the lamb with salt and gochugaru and arrange on top of the kimchi.
  5. Cover the lamb with remaining potatoes, carrots, scallions, garlic, onion, and kimchi.
  6. Pour on just enough wine to cover the ingredients. (If you don’t use all of the wine, pour a glass for yourself! 🙂 )
  7. Cover the dish and bake for 2.5 hours checking the liquid level every now and then and adding a splash of wine or water if it’s looking very dry, until the vegetables are soft and the lamb is meltingly tender.
  8. Serve hot in soup plates with a nice baguette or white rice and enjoy!

 

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