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Roar! Holiday Recipes from the Red Lion Inn

Friday Nov 22, 2013

Looking to mix up your holiday spread with some new takes on classic dishes? EDGE procured recipes from the historic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass. The iconic property has been serving up feasts for more than two centuries, so we imagine they've got a stockpile of surefire recipes.

The Red Lion Inn's current executive chef Brian Alberg will be celebrating 10 years at the property in 2014. He has been a supporter of the local food movement and is currently the president of Berkshire Grown, an organization dedicated to promoting the support of local farming and strengthening the relationships between local farmers and restaurants. He also has a unique interpretation of holiday cuisine.

"Holiday experiences for me were never on the actual holiday - as a chef in a year-round restaurant, I need to work the holidays as they are our busiest days of the year - so I celebrate with my family usually a week or two later," says Alberg. "I have always tried to tie a different ethnic menu with a traditional menu... be it Mexican Christmas or Mediterranean Easter or Portuguese Thanksgiving."

"Food is what helps me relax and escape, so by adding something outside the traditional fare, it takes me and my guests (family) to a place outside tradition and sparks new conversations."

Chef Alberg shares some of his favorite holiday classics with EDGE readers.

Rosemary Popovers

Goose fat enriches these savory popovers.

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 ½ Tbs. minced rosemary
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup rendered goose fat (rendered beef or pork fat, olive oil or blended oil -- can be used as a substitute)

Heat oven to 400°F. Whisk flour, milk, rosemary, salt, pepper and eggs in a bowl. Place 1 Tbs. fat into each of 12 cups of a muffin pan; heat in oven for 20 minutes. Pour 3 Tbs. of batter into each cup; bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 12 popovers.

Bacon, Chestnut and Brussels Sprouts Stuffing

8 oz. bacon, cut into ¼? cubes
8 oz. Brussels sprouts, quartered
2 cups minced celery
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 lb. cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
4 ½ oz. country white bread, cut into ½? cubes (about 4 cups)
4 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup chicken stock
16 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering casserole dish
½ cup finely chopped parsley
2 Tbs. finely chopped thyme
2 Tbs. finely chopped sage
2 tart apples, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Render bacon in a 12? skillet over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add sprouts, celery, and onion; cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chestnuts, bread, rice, stock, butter, parsley, thyme, sage, and apples; season with salt and pepper. Set aside while preparing poultry accompaniment. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Poached Turnips with Candied Bacon

Bacon and charred tomatoes bring smoky sweetness to turnips cooked in goose fat.

½ cup packed light brown sugar
8 slices thick-cut bacon
3 lbs. plum tomatoes, cored
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 ? cups chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup rendered goose fat (olive oil can be used as a substitute)
2 lbs. Hakurei turnips, peeled and cut into 1 ½" chunks
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle sugar over bacon on a baking sheet; bake until crisp and glazed, about 16 minutes. Cool, cut into 1" pieces, and set aside. Heat oven to broil. Broil tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet until charred all over, about 20 minutes. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, ? cup stock, garlic and shallots; cook until tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes. Purée with basil, Worcestershire, salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Heat fat in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add turnips; cook until starting to soften, about 20 minutes. Add remaining stock, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Serve turnips atop tomato sauce and garnish with bacon.

Serves 4.

Holiday Cocktails

Local products can make all the difference, even in a cocktail. The Red Lion Inn takes advantage of local manufacturers like Berkshire Mountain Distillers and Ronnybrook Farm Dairy.

2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ragged Mountain Rum
4 oz. Ronnybrook Eggnog
Pomegranate seeds to garnish
Serve on the rocks

The Field
3 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey
4 rocks of frozen Hilltop Orchard Apple Cider
Stir with cinnamon stick

The End Zone
3 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin
2 oz. St. Germain
1 oz. Aperol
Half an orange, juiced.
Pour juice over ice. Top with sparkling rose.

The Cheerleader
2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka
6 muddled raspberries
4 oz. Prosecco


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