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    The Shore Club | SEAFOOD STEAK COCKTAILS
    11 Colonel By Drive,
    Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4

    EMAIL ottawa@theshoreclub.ca
    TEL (613) 569-5050 FAX (613) 569-5055
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    Lunch Monday - Friday 11:30 am - 5:00 pm
    Dinner Monday - Sunday 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Bar Monday - Friday 11:30 am - 1:00 am
      Saturday 1:00 pm - 1:00 am
      Sunday 2:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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Autumn Techniques for Warm Seasonal Cooking

Autumn Techniques for Warm Seasonal Cooking

Written by Chef Murray Gregga

As the leaves begin to fall and the seasons change, so does our cooking techniques and use of ingredients. We tend to move away from bright acidic flavours to warm, aromatic and hearty flavours. We trade our grills for an oven, and grilled meats and vegetables for roasts, braises, and stews. For us in the restaurant industry, it’s a time where we can turn our menus and recipes into a place where one can find a “home-cooked” meal.

As I peruse through the markets and grocery stores, I am quickly reminded about how much I love this season and the available ingredients. This has to be my favourite season by far! Root vegetables such as turnips and parsnips, spices and herbs like star anise, thyme, and rosemary, to the different cabbages and squashes we have. There is such an array of flavours that can be built upon with all of these seasonal ingredients combined with the different styles of cooking we have. I get excited as the ingredients I bought begins to fill my home with the aromas of caramelizing onions, wine reducing for a braise, or a stew percolating with flavour, not to mention the warmth of a port jus poured over a wonderful roast. I find so much comfort in this style of cooking, and look forward to sitting down with my family and enjoying the meal. Typically, these are the meals built with “love” as the secret ingredient.

At The Shore Club, we also bring this passion and love of the ingredients to our menus. We move away from our grilled fish to an aromatic Cioppino stew; trade off marinated ribs for the tenderness of our slow braised short ribs; and we move from cold Gazpachos to a hearty Seafood Chowder that’ll warm you up from the inside out. All of these menu adjustments and tweaks happen because we want you to experience the change of a season here at The Shore Club and to find that comfort on our menu as you would at home.  

If you are coming into The Shore Club, be sure to try our slow braised short ribs paired with Sommelier Allison Vidug's suggestion, the Turley 'Juvenile' Zinfandel from California.  It has ripe, brambly fruit that taste almost cooked, warm baking spices, soft tannins and a full body.  This is a great comfort wine...perfect with The Shore Club's comfort food!

If you are cooking your favourite fall dish at home, here are some tips from my kitchen that can help in creating a wonderful array of warm flavours.

TIPS FOR BRAISING MEATS

  1. Using med-high heat and a good oil and butter combo, get a good sear and brown your seasoned meat. This is will leave good tasty bits on the bottom of the pot that will add flavour to the sauce.  While searing your meat, do not over crowd the pot. Sear in batches if you need to. Do not stir meat while searing. Leave to brown on one side then turn over to do the other side. You patience will be well rewarded!!
  2. Sauté your mirepoix (chopped vegetables).  Aim for a caramel colour on your vegetables. This will help bring out the natural sugars to some of the vegetables you are using and caramelize them.  Save other vegetables like potatoes and parsnips to add later on through the cooking process.
  3. Deglaze with a quality stock or wine, scraping at the browned bits at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. This step will add extra flavour to your braising liquid.
  4. Braise meat covered at 325 degrees in an oven. Ensure the meat is NOT submerged in the liquid. We are NOT boiling, we are braising. When there is about 45 minutes or so left to cooking the meat, add your potatoes or other vegetables to add other flavour and textures.
  5. Remove your meat and vegetables and reduce the liquid. Once the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, season and return the meat and vegetables with its dripping to the sauce. Warm through and serve.  

Happy braising from my kitchen to yours!

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