It has been seriously cold here in Pittsburgh these last few weeks – the kind of cold where it’s just not even fun to go outside at all because you’re instantly shivering. There has been something particularly satisfying about cooking on these days, especially meals that braise or simmer for a while. The kitchen is nice and warm, the house smells amazing, and everything feels just a little bit cozier. I bought this dutch oven sometime last year and it has really taken my time in the kitchen to the next level! Everything I have ever made in it has just turned out so well, and it’s especially useful if you’re making a recipe that goes from the stovetop to the oven (or vice versa), because you don’t have to dirty two dishes.
I’m still loving my Home Chef meals (read more about that in this post), but I’ve also developed a small list of staple meals on cold weather days. I’m sharing them with you in case you’re in need of some kitchen inspiration! Make sure you leave your go-to recipes in the comments.
Coq Au Vin
This is one of those classic recipes that I had somehow never made before this year, and can’t believe how I’ve missed out by not having this in my life earlier!! I am an Ina Garten fan so I use her recipe, but Julia Child’s is the quintessential one, I think. It’s just such a simple meal that tastes way more rich and decadent than it actually is. I typically serve it with polenta mixed with goat cheese and it makes such a delicious pairing.
Another Ina Garten recipe for the win! Any recipe that calls for an entire bottle of wine is going to be a win in my book. The house smells absolutely incredibly every time I make this, and it’s so rich and hearty and amazing. I know that Ina suggests serving it on toast, but I love it with mashed potatoes instead.
Calling this one of my favorite cold-weather recipes is kind of a stretch because I love risotto year round. However, it requires patience and time spent just in front of the stove, stirring, and that’s definitely more enjoyable when it’s cold out than it is when it’s hot. When I’m feeling a little bit fancier, I’ll make this champagne risotto recipe. Really, though, you can follow the basic instructions and add in whatever veggies you want, and you can definitely substitute white wine for champagne. Risotto is just one of those recipes that tastes so much fancier than it really is.
I had the most delicious short ribs at a restaurant a few years ago (at Disney, actually!), and that meal made me realize how incredible short ribs could be. When they’re cooked right, they’re melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone tender. Again, this is something that tastes more complicated than it is – the key is just to braise the short ribs for quite a while, low and slow. (However, I don’t like lemon zest, so I keep that out of my version.) They don’t quite live up to my memory of the short ribs from the restaurant, but they’re really, really close.