Complement Winter With Blanquette and Bramble

Happy Wednesday, friends.

We understand. You’re cold. You’ve had enough adventure navigating ice-lacquered sidewalks, parking lots and driveways. You desire sunlight (good news — it’s back tomorrow for a cameo, before ducking behind the curtain again). And you seek winter comfort.

Look no more. It’s time for beef stew. More specifically, beef blanquette.

Blanquettes are lovely French preparations. The main difference between a blanquette and what we think of as a standard stew is the sauce. Where a typical stew often is dark, thanks to ingredients like tomatoes, red wine and beef broth, blanquettes swaddle braised meat in cream sauces. Meanwhile, the blanquette meat itself can broadcast the classic stew flavors, as it often is braised in traditional stew ingredients before joining the cream sauce in what always holds potential as a beautiful marriage. With a proper blanquette, you get two wonderful things — meats braised in things like wine and herbs, and luscious cream sauces — in one dish.

Below, you’ll find Eric’s recipe for Blanquette of Winter Vegetables with Breast of Beef from his cookbook, Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm, which is always available for sale at the Farm Store.

Beef breast is brisket. You also can use other cuts meant for braising, like chuck roast, and follow the recipe without a hitch. We carry truly superb beef at the Farm Store; using a cut from Grama Grass & Livestock will make the dish even better. Must you have pearl onion, parsnips and chervil to prepare this dish? Not at all. You might want an herb for garnish, though; if not chervil, don’t hesitate to use parsley.

Enjoy your blanquette during this cold snap! We look forward to taking care of you at the Farm Store at 4975 Jay Road, open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at our restaurant, Bramble & Hare, in downtown Boulder.

Add blanquettes to your repertoire.
Grama Grass & Livestock produces magnificent beef.

Valentine’s Weekend and Day at Bramble & Hare

Join us for Valentine’s celebrations.

nterest has been so high in our Valentine’s Day celebration that we have extended the menu for love’s only holiday to Saturday, Feb. 11 as well as Sunday, Feb. 12, when we normally are closed. For both nights, diners can enjoy our regular menu in addition to the special Valentine’s Day menu. On the 14th, however, just the special menu is available.

This year, Bramble’s Valentine’s will include a five-course meal with dessert, with options for luxe supplements and wine pairings. The holiday at Bramble costs $125 person, plus any extras. Please visit our Open Table site to make reservations.

We look forward to inviting you into our dining room and doting on you. Other warm hearts will fill every seat in Bramble on Valentine’s Day; yours will just stoke the heart fires that much more. It is always one exceedingly cheerful room during love’s holiday.

The Black Cat Organic Farm CSA

Also, don’t forget about our CSA. Sign-ups now are live!

If you haven’t signed up for our 2023 CSA yet, spots still remain. Our CSA differs from most: Instead of us filling sacks or baskets with vegetables for you to pick up, for our CSA we invite you to visit the Farm Store 20 times between June and October and fill Black Cat CSA totes with produce. In addition, CSA members enjoy 5% discounts on all store items, plus a bonus U-Pick credit based on share size.

The link contains loads more information about how the CSA works, as well as a way to sign-up. Welcome to the Black Cat family.

Farm Store

We grow a LOT of spaghetti squash. Why? The flavor is outstanding. The texture makes it quite versatile. And it thrives in cold storage.

We have—literally—tons of organic spaghetti squash, all of it from our fields and spectacular. To help persuade everybody to lean into spaghetti squash, we have cut the price per pound in half, down to $1.50. Visit the Farm Store, pick up a squash or two, and have fun.

One preparation recommended by Eric, which he made for a recent Bookcliff Vineyards dinner: spaghetti squash fritters with harissa sauce. Eric’s inspiration for the dish is Indian onion pakora.

For the sauce, use Black Cat’s harissa, which you can find in the Store’s freezer. The fritters are easy.

Ingredients 1 1/2 cup of roasted spaghetti squash One small onion, julienned Salt to taste 1/2 cup chickpea (or rice) flour 1/2 to 1 cup soda water Preheat an oven to 350 degrees, cut a spaghetti squash in half, and place both halves cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Roast for 30 or 40 minutes, until the squash is soft. Use a fork to fluff up the spaghetti squash from the cut side and liberate it from the squash skin. 

Julienne a small onion.

Take about 1 1/2 cups of fluffed spaghetti squash and mix it with the onion, chickpea flour, soda water and salt to taste. You are looking for a consistency like mashed potatoes. 

Form the squash-onion mixture into patties about the size of a half-dollar and as thick as a pinkie if you are shallow frying in a sauté pan. If you plan to deep-fat fry, use a teaspoon to form the mixture into small oblong balls.

If you prefer a coating with more of a crunchy crust, like tempura, use rice flour instead. 

Heat oil in a sauté pan or sauce pan (depending on whether you shallow fry or deep-pat fry) until it reaches 350 degrees. 

For shallow-fried fritters, place them individually in the hot oil. Once golden on the bottoms, flip them and cook until both sides are golden. If you do this in batches, place cooked patties in a 300 degree oven while you cook the others. 

For deep-fat-fried fritters (say that one fast), drop the balls into the hot oil and cook until golden all around. Follow the directions above for keeping them hot while you cook through all of the fritters.

Serve with room temperature harissa sauce.

A recent pizza from a Black Catter incorporating Black Cat tomatoes, which he processed into tomato sauce in September, onions and garlic. The olives aren’t ours … but maybe one day Eric can figure out how to grow them on the farm. We can dream, right?

If you return to the photo that began the newsletter, you’ll encounter pasta with our own yellow tomato sauce with French thyme. It is extraordinary, dense with rich tomato flavor and perfumed with an entire bouquet of thyme, which you will find in the sauce. As we broaden our prepared offerings, make sure to check out the Store’s freezers, which carry many of our products. Some of the tomato sauces, like this one, are packaged in silver pouches.

We love how easy this meal was for the Black Catter. He heated the frozen sauce, boiled pasta, dressed the noodles with sauce, showered with Parmesan and commenced eating.

This week at the Farm Store, which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 4975 Jay Road, you’ll find:
  • Mushrooms
  • Salad mix
  • Kale
  • Tatsoi
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Dried beans
  • Ginger
  • Parsnips

Black Cat Grains and flours

  • Popcorn
  • Flours from Black Cat Organic Farm grains


  • Grama Grass & Livestock Beef
  • Cuts of Black Cat heritage lamb

Black Cat Farm Provisions

  • Tomato sauce with basil and garlic
  • Mole
  • Basque piperade
  • Yellow Tomato Sauce with French thyme
  • Tomato shallot fonduto
  • Salsa amarilla con rajas
  • Plowman’s Onion Soup
  • Spicy harissa
  • Ketchup

Local Provisions

  • Plains & Prairie goods
  • Humble Suds cleaning products
  • Bee-Och Organics tooth powder, muscle pain rub, beard oil, deodorant
  • Growing Organic probiotic soaps
  • Purple Fence Farm lotions, soaps, bath salts, facial toners and salves
  • Annie Bee’s Hand-Poured Beeswax Candles 
  • Bluecorn Beeswax Candles
  • Havenly Baked Gluten-Free Bread
  • Pueblo Seed cookies, porridge, cream of wheat, chile powder and more
  • Boulder Broth
  • Bee Grateful Honey Caramels
  • Bjorn’s Colorado Honey and doggie treats
  • Boulder Valley Honey
  • Bolder Chip salsa, corn chips and tortillas, and uncooked flour tortillas
  • Green Tahini dips and dressings
  • Heartbeets Veggie Burgers and doggie treats
  • Spark + Honey Granola
  • Mountain Girl Pickles
  • New Beat Foods Quinoa Crackers
  • Project Umami Tempeh
  • Silver Canyon Coffee
  • Table Mountain Farm Goat Milk Caramels
  • French mustard
  • Gorgeous Italian balsamic vinegar
  • Ambrosial Italian apple cider vinegar
  • Vegan charcuterie from Greece! 
  • Italian risotto rice
A few of our prepared foods, found in the freezer, including the yellow tomato sauce with French thyme.

Bramble & Hare

A news editor dining at Bramble recently had this dish and swooned. Salted turnips with pickled onions and pistachio tarator. Find it now on the Bramble menu.

Many Bramble dishes are so simple. This treasure is classic, just salted turnips, pickled onions and pistachio tarator, a sauce from the Middle East that we think complements a lot of different foods. Whether it’s the Mulefoot pork or the Tunis lamb, from animals we raise on the farm, or our beets and salad greens, or Black Cat cabbage, cauliflower, ancho chiles, garbanzo beans or charcuterie, the goal at Bramble is to let the ingredients sing for themselves. Yes, we do help strengthen their voices, and we also add other ingredients for the sake of harmony. But we always try to highlight the delicious things we grow on our 425-acre organic farm.

Join us soon!

A perfect bridge from January to February.

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