Epic Waves on the Shore

Special Edition | November 3, 2020

Up here on the North Shore, we’re on the lookout for big, icy waves that look like they belong in the middle of the ocean. It happens each November when cold and warm wind team up to create waves that are unpredictable, turbulent, and simply awe-inspiring. Whether you prefer to call it The Gales of November or The Lake Superior Storm Season – it’s something you’ve got to see to believe. Book with Odyssey and watch Mother Nature put on a show.
 
Learn more about this breathtaking phenomenon here.

Summer is over and fall is feeling like winter. Our recent outdoor adventures took us to Paradise Beach for one last agate excursion in Lake Superior’s frigid waters. On our beach trek, we passed cold pools of water with razor-thin sheets of ice supporting the falling snow, and a male house finch came up to greet me as if I had a meal ready for him. 
 
The end of October ushers in Halloween –  one of my favorite holidays. It’s usually a chilly night around these parts, so my sensibilities turn to warm enriching stews. We will call this recipe Spooky Stew, in honor of the eerie evening, and use of the wild game to give it a rich unctuous flavor. You can customize this recipe to suit the ingredients you have nearby.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
6 duck confit thighs
1 lb. dried white beans, such as great northern
1 fresh ham hock
1 lb. pork belly unsmoked and blanched 5 minutes in boiling water and drained
1 duck carcass cut up
1 onion peeled and stuck with two cloves
3 medium onions sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, split, and carefully rinsed (white plus 2 inches of green)
2 medium turnips peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves
Herb bouquet: 3 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig marjoram, tied in bundle
1 medium head green cabbage, trimmed and quartered
3 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sliced smoked bacon
1 lb. red skin potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 lb. garlic venison sausage, blanched for 15 minutes and drained
6-8 slices stale French bread
1 lb. shredded gouda cheese

Directions

  1. Pick over beans and soak in water for 1 ½ hour.
  2. Place ham hock, pork belly, and duck carcass in a large kettle. Add 3 ½ quarts cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, partially covered, 1 hour, skimming frequently.
  3. When beans have soaked 1 ½ hour, drain them, put them in a 4- or 5-quart heavy pan, cover with tepid water, and slowly bring to a boil.
  4. Boil beans for 5 minutes and drain immediately, then slip them into simmering meat liquid.  Add the onion stuck with cloves. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour continuing to skim, as necessary.
  5. While soup simmers, melt 3 tablespoons of fat from the confit in a heavy medium-size skillet over moderate heat. Add sliced onions and leeks, then cook, tightly covered,  for 3 minutes to “sweat” vegetables until softened but not browned. Add to soup kettle along with turnips.  Heat to a slow boil, uncovered, over medium heat.
  6. Mince 3 garlic cloves; add to kettle along with herb bouquet.  Season lightly with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook at a slow boil, uncovered, 45 minutes.  Discard duck carcass. 

The recipe can be prepared ahead at this point.

  1. 40 minutes before serving, blanch cabbage in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain and chop coarsely; set aside.
  2. Shred confit. Finely chopped parsley, bacon, and remaining 2 cloves of garlic to a puree.  Add all to kettle along with cabbage, potatoes, and sausage; heat over medium-high heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer slowly, uncovered 30 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, remove meats to a warmed platter; moisten with a few tablespoons soup liquid, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Check the consistency of the soup; it should be thick enough so that a wooded spoon stands up straight in the center.  If too thin, boil down. Taste and correct seasoning.
  4. Layer slices of bread, sliced meats, and vegetables in a deep ovenproof dish. Pour over cooking juices, sprinkle with grated gouda, and set in preheated 350° F. oven to bake until the top is crusty and brown about 45 minutes.

Low temps and high spirits. There’s no winter like a North Shore winter. Book with Odyssey Resorts and embrace the season.

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