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Chef Chris’s Recipes for a Cold Day

Executive Chef Christian Kruse shares two of his cold day recipes to be sure we stay warm! Most of the country is experiencing cooler weather these days so we wanted to provide you with a delicious recipes from the Basin Harbor kitchen!

Vermont Winter Beef Stew
This is the quintessential wintertime feast!
Chef Chris says this recipe for Vermont Winter Beef Stew is ” a robust and unctuous beef stew that gets a Vermont makeover using local beer, winter vegetables, Vermont grass fed beef, and just a touch of maple syrup”. We suggest you enjoy your stew with some hearty whole gran bread from Good Companion Bakery topped with a healthy smear of Vermont Creamery cultured butter.

4 pounds Boyden Farm (Cambridge, Vermont) Beef Chuck, 1″ cubed
3 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
3 tablespoons Black Peppercorn, coarsely ground
1/4 cup AP Flour
3 Sweet Onions (such as Vidallia), large dice
3 Leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 sprig Rosemary, chopped
4 Bay Leaves (5 if using dried)
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chili
24 ounces Dark beer (Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout, Otter Creek Brewing out of Middlebury, Vermont)
1 cup Maple Syrup Grade B (Dakin Farm, Ferrisburg, Vermont)
2 quarts Beef Stock (you may not need it all)
1 bunch Thyme, leaves only
3 Medium Parsnips, large dice
2 Medium Carrots, large dice
1 Turnip, large dice
3 Stalks Celery, large dice
3 pounds Yellow Fingerling (or Yukon) potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Kosher Salt, to taste

  • Season the beef with black pepper.
  • Melt butter over medium-high heat in a heavy pot, preferably cast-iron. Sear beef very hard, working in batches making sure not to crowd the pot. If the bottom begins to burn turn down the heat.
  • Once all the beef is seared and out of the pot, add the salt, onions, and leeks, stirring & scraping up the browned bits as the onions release their liquid. Add flour & cook until onions are beginning to soften, about five minutes. Add bay leaves, chili flakes, and rosemary.
  • Add beer and fully deglaze pan, bring to a simmer and add 1 qt of stock and maple syrup. Turn heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Simmer on very low for one hour.
  • Add remaining vegetables and thyme, add enough of the remaining stock to just cover the vegetables, if necessary. Simmer 30 min longer, uncovered, until all vegetables are tender.
  • Season with Red Wine Vinegar and salt to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Serve with a big slice of fresh bread and butter



Looking for something a little lighter? Try Chef Chris’s Coconut Soup with Chicken. Chef Chris says this dish is “a wonderful, exotic Thai soup recipe with chicken, lime, coconut and ginger that will keep you warm during the winter months…The coconut will always transport you to the tropics.”

Coconut Soup with Chicken
“… bright Thai flavors will sooth your winter spirits”

1 tbsp Seasme Oil
1 sliced Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1 stalk, finely chopped Lemongrass
2 Red Chilli Peppers
350 ml Chicken Stock
400 ml Coconut Milk
2 skinned Chicken Breasts cut into chunks
6 Kaffir Lime leaves
2 tbsp soy Sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Sugar
Lime Juice

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion until soft but not brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chili and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the stock and coconut milk, bring to a boil then add the chicken and lime leaves and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice, heat through and serve.