Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits + #StubbsInsider Giveaway

This post and giveaway was sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q , however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits

This holiday season, I’ve made a vow to make all my meals with love, happiness and smiles. Not just the big celebration dinners, but also the crazy night meals when we’ve been out all day running errands, visiting with family or volunteering with our favorite charity (Brown Santa).  Some times on these chaotic nights, I get grumbly about making supper, but shortcuts with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q products  keep me grinning even after sitting in shopping mall traffic or spending hours trying to figure out which bulb in a string of lights has burned out.

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits in slow cooker

For this slow cooker recipe, I’ve used Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce. This convienient product (which is gluten free) works in both the skillet and slow cooker. It contains a flavorful sauce pouch made with bourbon, garlic and rosemary along with a spice packet that can be used to prep the meat. Browning Stew Meat

One little hint extra step I have for this quick and easy recipe is to brown the stew meat before putting in the crock pot. While this may seem unnecessary (and you can skip if absolutely pressed for time), it does create an amazing caramelization on the beef which helps to create a more complex flavor experience. Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits -  an easy slow cooker meat that will satisfy your guests this holiday season.

Don’t just think of Stubb’s ONLY as a way to fix traditional Texas BBQ. They have so many delicious Bar-B-Q sauces, marinades, rubs and Cookin’ Sauces that offer bold flavors to spur on your creativity in the kitchen this holiday season.

Of course, I love to create my own new holiday recipes as well as revisit family food traditions, but why recreate the wheel on every single side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter family gatherings when Stubb’s has complied a delicious collection of recipes for the season?! stubbs-roasted-brussels-sprouts

Yes-sir-ee, the Stubb’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts will be a delicious compliment to my Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Beef Stew with Rosemary Garlic Grits. You need to try these, so amazing!   

stubbs-cranberry-orange-beef-packageTo help you get cooking with down-home but daring style, I’m hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a Stubb’s Prize Pack that includes a spatula, T-shirt, Stubb’s hat and coupons for free Stubb’s products (yeehaw)!  Just enter via the Rafflecopter app below:

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Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew on Sage Romano Grits
Cranberry Orange Bourbon Beef Stew w/ Sage Romano Grits
Print Recipe
Warm up with this tasty beef stew that is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy -- it makes a hearty meal topped on grits but you can also pair with pasta, potatoes, and whole grains.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Instructions
for stew
  1. Sprinkle stew meat with spice packet from Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce (or simply season with salt and pepper for alternative preparation).
  2. Heat large, heavy-duty skillet to medium-high heat and brown stew meat in single layer. Don’t overcrowd, work in batches if necessary, draining cooking liquid between.
  3. Add browned stew meat to 6-quart slow cooker along with chopped onion, cranberry sauce, orange segments, orange zest, bourbon and Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Top slow cooker with lid and simmer on high heat for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef tender. If desired, add 1 cup fresh cranberries to last 1 hour of simmering.
  5. *** If you can’t find Stubb’s Cookin’ Smokehouse Bourbon Flavor, the use this substitute. To season stew meat before browning, sprinkle with mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. For liquid, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and add an additional 1 ounce of bourbon whiskey.
for grits
  1. Add water to saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits, sage and salt and then reduce to medium-low for simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 7 minutes stirring frequently. When thickened, stir in cheese until incorporated. Remove from heat.
  3. To serve, place a mound of grits on a plate and use a slotted spoon to remove beef, onions and fruit from slow cooker. Top with optional garnishes of grated orange zest and chopped parsley.
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Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots + Big Book of Sides #Giveaway

four roses whiskey - thefitforkOther than turkey, nothing says Thanksgiving more than a bottle of full of bourbon in my family. We’ll have that sucker drained in no time — no so much taking shots (okay, maybe a couple), but rather as a spirited ingredient in my holiday menu.

Watch this video of Rick Rodgers, chef and author of The Big Book of Sides, make Bacon, Onion and Bourbon Marmalade –it’s fantastic and versatile enough to spread it on a biscuit or dress a bowl full of warm green beans. Oh, and I’m hosting a giveaway for a copy of The Big Book of Sides, so enter at the bottom of this post.

Based on Rick’s recipe for Pomegranate Glazed Carrots (p. 148 of The Big Book of Sides) and my new found bottle of Four Roses Bourbon, I was inspired to create my own side dish recipe — Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots.  These carrots are so delicious and make a perfect pairing with your roast turkey or even a juicy steak – and because I’m using coconut (palm) sugar, they are even Paleo-diet friendly. Apple Cider Bourbon Glazed Carrots - side dish recipe from TheFitFork.com

Apple Cider Bourbon Carrots - thefitfork.comBourbon Apple Cider Glazed Carrots Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and green tops removed
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon coconut (palm) sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

 

  1. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add carrots in single layer and pour in apple cider. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bring sauce to boil over high heat, occasionally stirring to dissolve coconut sugar.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes to soften remove lid and bring heat up to high. Boil until sauce has reduced to a glaze, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with pecans, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.   Serves 4.

So, if you’ve ever struggled with side dish ideas and are tired of the same old mashed potatoes or plain buttered peas, The Big Book of Sides has more than 450 recipes that will add pizzazz and razzamatazz to your holiday plate. Some of the side dish recipes that spoke to me were Chard Puttanesca; Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes;   Farro, Cherry and Feta Salad; and Chipotle Corn Pudding. Enter below for a chance to win a copy of this must-have manual for the home cook – if you can’t wait to win, you can pick up a copy on Amazon.

This post and giveaway is sponsored. I received product and other compensation in exchange for my time; all opinions, editorial comments, content and photographs are my own, unless otherwise noted.

 

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Relish the Day! Bourbon Cranberry Apricot & Pecan Relish Recipe

After getting three kids out the door with special class party snacks, finishing a running workout of mile repeats in this relentless humidity fest which is central Texas and hitting the grocery store with my daily list, you’d think I’d be too bogged down to celebrate National Cranberry Relish Day. But no way! I really relish all the nuances of this sweet -tart dish that makes not just  a great side dish but also is a superstar salsa for chips, crave-worthy condiment on wraps, and tasty topping for Greek yogurt.  Sometimes I wonder why people only make this recipe during the holiday season?!

There are so many versions of cranberry relish and everyone seems to have a favorite. Some like molded cranberry sauce right out of the can while others prefer the texture and taste of fresh relish. We have a family recipe for raw cranberry relish that’s been around forever — I can’t remember a Thanksgiving without it! Basically, its fresh cranberries, sugar and an entire orange (unpeeled!) thrown into a food processor and pulsed. I guess back in the day, Grandma just chopped it up with a knife, old-school style.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - bourbon cranberry apricot pecan relish

My recipe for Bourbon Cranberry Apricot and Pecan Relish is inspired by the not overly-sweet tang of this beloved family recipe, but adds some new and exciting ingredients — err, namely the bourbon!  The brief cooking process burns away all of the alcohol content, so you don’t have to worry about getting your little ones loopy!  However, if you’d rather not use the liquor, simply substitute ounce-for-ounce with more orange juice.

Here’s an interesting fact that my kids figured out – cranberries bounce! Apparently, small pockets of air inside the fruit make them bouncy and buoyant (that’s why they float when harvested in the bogs). It’s also why you will hear them popping in the sauce pan.

Bourbon Cranberry Apricot and Pecan Relish Recipe

Only six ingredients, so simple!

Only six ingredients, so simple!

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 2 ounces fresh orange juice (from medium orange)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (from medium orange)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • Garnish: fresh mint

In a large saucepan, bring all the ingredients (except pecans and mint garnish) to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes; let cool. Stir in pecans.  Serve warm, room temperature or cold – it’s good every way!

Serves 6 – 8.

jennifer handstand rings

So, as I mentioned earlier, my workout today was 5 mile repeats. And, thank goodness, it was not my “One-Derful” WOD which includes not only mile repeats but also lots of other tough stuff.  With Thanksgiving coming later this year, I didn’t realize that my marathon (Dallas) was just over 2 weeks away. I guess I’m going into taper mode and I am completely NOT ready for the marathon.  But I never am.  So what do my friend and I like to do after we run? We always take crazy pictures at her CrossFit box (BVM CrossFit) – I’m sure you’ve seen some of them before.  Nothing like walking around in a handstand with one of your legs stuck in a gymnastic ring. I added some sparkly disco lights to distract from my lack of flexibility!