Lamb Biryani


Biryani is a festive dish that is aromatic and flavourful, and a very popular to serve to large groups of people. This particular recipe feeds 8-10 people, but you can easily scale up if the party gets bigger! This is a great way of feeding a lot of people with a small amount of meat, as the rice really absorbs the flavour of the meat and becomes one with everything. This satisfying dish can be made with beef stew, chicken thighs, or even goat shoulder.

Serves 8 – 10


1 onion, sliced
3 tbsp clarified butter (see note)

2.5 lbs lamb shoulder, bone in, cut into 1" cubes
5 garlic cloves, pureed with microplane
2 tbsp ginger pureed with microplane
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp chili flakes/powder
1 tbsp chopped green chilies (jalapeno works fine)
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups yogurt
2 limes juiced

3 black cardamom
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 piece cinnamon sticks
6 cloves

1/2 cup clarified butter

1 tsp saffron
1 cup hot milk

2 cups basmati, soaked in plenty of warm water

*Clarified butter, or ghee as it is known throughout India and surrounding countries, can either be purchased as is, or easily made at home. To make clarified butter, slowly melt a pound of butter in a small pot over a medium heat. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface, and after about 30 minutes you should be left with the clear butterfat without the milk solids. It keeps in the fridge for six months.


1. In a large sauté pan over a medium heat, cook the onions in 3 tbsp of clarified butter until slightly brown and translucent.

2. Place the lamb meat into a large bowl. Add the pureed garlic, ginger, salt, chili flakes, fresh green chillies, mint, cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, and fried onions. Stir well.

3. In a large pan on a medium heat, toast the cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves until fragrant. Cool, then wrap and tie the spices in a cheesecloth or a large tea infuser ball. Add the spice pack to the lamb mixture, cover, and leave on the counter to marinate for one hour. Alternately, you can mix the spices into the lamb mixture loose, I just prefer being able to remove them before serving.

3. Soak the rice in 6 cups of cold water while the lamb marinates.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

5. Melt 1/2 cup of clarified butter in a large pot over a medium heat, then add the lamb mixture. Bring it to a simmer, and cook for thirty minutes or until the lamb is tender. Meanwhile bring a pot with 2-3 quarts of water to a boil. Add one tbsp of salt. Strain the rice and add to the boiling water, and cook for five minutes before straining.

6. Heat the milk in a small pot, then add the saffron. Allow to infuse for at least five minutes.

7. When the lamb is tender, pour the mixture into casserole. Spread the half-cooked rice evenly over the meat, then drizzle the saffron milk over everything. Cover with a tight lid or tin foil, then bake in the hot oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

8. Serve immediately, perhaps with naan bread and a yogurt-cucumber salad.

Sanagan’s Summertime Beer Simplifier Guide

Sanagan’s Summertime Beer Simplifier Guide

Remember when wine was hard and beer was easy? Not anymore. With all those craft brews and imports on the shelf, your head’s spinning even before you’ve had a drink. But have no beer-fear, your roadmap to Six Pack City is here — behold Sanagan’s Summertime Beer Simplifier Guide. Let’s go to the hops! The S.S.B.S.G. is, by its very nature, a reductionist document, so beer geeks please forgive its necessary generalizations and omissions. Brands are cited, in part, based on their availability and existing recognition factor. THE LAGER FAMILY LAGERS, PILSNERS, HELLES: Originating in Bavaria and now the most popular style in the world. These are going to be pale yellow or golden in colour, emphasizing thirst-quenching balance between hops and malts. Examples: Creemore Lager, Pilsner Urquell, Collingwood Rockwell Pilsner, Amsterdamn 3 Speed Lager. There are also stronger and darker lagers like Bocks and Dunkels. THE ALE FAMILY From the sprightly to the syrupy, this wide-ranging category is united only b itsy top-fermenting yeasts. So here’s a very brief breakdown of ale, what’s good for you. IPA’S: Big flavours. Piney, grapefruity, often higher alcohol. Muskoka Mad Tom, Beau’s Full Time PALE ALE: Less hoppy than IPA but still assertive. Sierra Nevada, Junction Conductor ENGLISH STYLE: A mellow affair. A little darker, touch of fruitiness and sometimes lower alcohol. Henderson’s Best, Fuller’s London Pride STOUTS AND PORTERS: Very dark, almost black. Coffee and chocolate flavours but not sweet. Guinness, Railway City Black Coal BELGIAN STYLE: Too diverse to summarize but try the Trappist Ales for yeasty, boozy, fruity, mouth-fillers. Westmalle Dubbel WEISS/WHEAT A hazy beer that derives its fruity-clovey character from its charismatic yeast. Very adaptable with food pairings. Hoegaarden, Side Launch SAISON Originally from Belgium but now popular as an anything-goes New World craft style. Often dry, fruity, expressive. Niagara Oast House. Or Belgium’s Dupont (if you can ever find it). SOURS Another Belgian original enthusiastically embraced by the craft movement. Think sourdough bread but only in a beer, and usually more sour. Sometimes complex, sometimes an acquired taste. Muskoka Ebb and Flow, Bench Brewing Simcoe Grove RADLERS Lagers mixed with citrus flavours. Currently very popular and undoubtedly useful on hot summer afternoons. Ace Hill, Schofferhofer Grapefruit PAIRINGS Beer’s cold, it’s made mostly of water and is full of bubbles; it’s going to go well with everything. But if you want to narrow things down — think lighter beers like lagers, wheat’s and some session ales with lighter foods and heavier more alcoholic ales like pale ales and IPAs with heavier dishes. Here’s some free association beer pairings to inspire your desire. Dry Age Burgers + Lager = Cannonballs off the dock Sanagan’s All-Beef Hot Dogs + Radlers = Happy birthday to you House-made Cold Pork Pie + Stout = Premier League Sanagan’s Grilled Jerk Chicken + Pale Ale = Late nights on the back deck Sanagans Salads + Saison = Tiff Lightbox Pregame Bag Of Chips + Pabst Blue Ribbon = Nothing wrong with that Dried Chorizo + Sour Beer = Modern jazz House-made Sausage + British Ale = “Maybe a little mustard with that?” Charcuterie Board + Wheat Beer = Fancy dress picnics Sanagan’s Cuban Marinade Bavette + IPA = “Burp” Sanagan’s Teriyake Short Ribs + Belgian Ale = Sticky fingers Big Juicy Steak + Any Of The Above = Sanagan-tastic! GOOD NEIGH-BEERS Maybe it’s not just a coincidence that both of our Sanagan’s locations are within stumbling distance of great local craft brewers. Our Baldwin shop is well served by Kensington Brewery Company’s flagship Fisheye P.A. and our Gerrard location is within a pork chop throw of the cerebral Godspeed You Brewery. If you want to drink like you work at Sanagan’s visit their bottle shops.
Salad Days Are Here Again

Salad Days Are Here Again

By: Anne Hynes One of the best parts of summer is all the amazing fresh produce available in Ontario. A great way to make the most of nature's bounty is with salad. Salad need not be limited to lettuce leaves in a bowl – it can include cooked vegetables, grains, pickles, or meat and can be served hot, cold or room temperature, and it can be served morning, noon or night (think fruit salad at breakfast!) Because salad is such a diverse and creative medium, I would argue the element that really makes a salad a cohesive dish is the dressing. Although I love a creamy dressing, my usual go to for salad is a vinaigrette. Vinaigrette is so easy to make and so versatile. As long as there is some in the fridge, there really is no excuse to not whip up a salad. But, why stop there? Try using vinaigrette on warm grilled vegetables at your next barbeque. How about using vinaigrette on some blanched green beans with cooked mini potatoes and fresh herbs at your next picnic? Why not drizzle some vinaigrette over slices of tomatoes and cucumber with thinly sliced red onion and torn basil for your next dinner party? You can even use vinaigrette to dress some good quality canned tuna and then simply add some finely chopped Vidalia onion and pickles for a lighter tuna salad – the sky really is the limit! Making vinaigrette is quite simple. The trickiest part is making an emulsion, which is why most vinaigrettes contain Dijon mustard. The following recipe is a base. Feel free to play with it by adding honey or finely chopped shallot or different flavours of vinegar, mustard and even oils. Or, try a bottle of our new Sanagan's House Vinaigrette, which is available at both the Kensington and Gerrard stores – you really can't get simpler than that! Basic Vinaigrette yield: about ½ cup Ingredients 3 tbsp lemon juice or 2 tbsp vinegar, like apple cider or white wine 2 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup olive oil* ¼ cup canola or grapeseed oil ¼ tsp salt to taste freshly cracked black pepper Optional Ideas: 2 tbsp minced shallot 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp fresh chopped herbs, like thyme ¼ clove garlic, minced Method: Mix vinegar, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. If using any of the optional ingredients, add them at this step. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, followed by the canola oil. Season with pepper. Taste to adjust seasoning. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to fourteen days. If separation occurs, shake well before using. *Olive oil can be bitter and overpowering if used as the sole oil in vinaigrette, which is why this recipe also calls for mild tasting oil like canola or grapeseed.


Make summer funner and not a bummer with our Sanagan’s Grilling Guide. I hope it will inspire you to consider all the backyard/back deck/back alley cooking options that are available to you and how our great, locally raised products can be transformed by a baptism of smoke and fire. GAS VS CHARCOAL GAS: Faster, easier to control, cleaner, and safer for settings like rooftop decks. CHARCOAL: Easier to refuel — you don’t need a car to buy a bag of charcoal, more affordable purchase options, and more flavourful, according to loyalist. Pro Tip: Not all charcoal is created equal. Use either pure hardwood lump charcoal (higher heat, quicker burning) or pure hardwood briquettes (lower heat, longer burning). Cheap charcoal may contain dubious non-hardwood fillers. COOKING TECHNIQUES DIRECT Steaks, chops, burgers, boneless chicken breasts, sausages, Miami short-ribs and skewers. Direct is the essence of grilling. The food is sizzled right over the flame, be it a pile of charcoal or a gas jet. Sear it, flame it, watch it smoke, listen to it hiss; get in-touch with your inner caveperson. Pro Tip: Reserve a not-hot-spot on the grill so if you get a fiery flare-up, food can be moved off the flame, avoiding incineration. INDIRECT Whole birds, larger roasts, briskets, pork shoulders, lamb legs, porchetta. You’ll need at least a standard sized gas or charcoal grill with a lid. With this method the heat source is not directly under the meat but burning off to the side, either by gas burner selection or positioning charcoal on the grill’s periphery. This technique allows for roasting and slow-cook barbecuing, in the Southern style. Pro Tip: As impossible as it may seem — at least in my case — try not to peek. Leave the lid closed except to check for doneness, adding more charcoal, or for basting/saucing. DIRECT/INDIRECT Bone-in chicken pieces, small roasts, thick steaks and chops. It’s the best of both worlds. Say your steak is extra-thick. Start it over direct heat to get that beautiful sear then move it off the direct heat source so it continues to cook evenly and thoroughly. Pro Tip: Remember to let your meat rest on a warm platter once it comes off the grill. This allows the juices to circulate through the meat and for you to partake of a sympathetic chilled beverage. MARINADES, SAUCES, AND RUBS You’ve got your meat — now let’s dress it up. Merinades are usually thinner preparations that are applied to the grillables ahead of time. In addition to adding flavour they often act as a tenderizer. Sauces are usually thicker and can be brushed on during the cooking process and also used as a condiment. Rubs are dry combinations of herbs, spices, salts and sugars. They are applied to the meat before cooking, often well ahead of time. There are thousands of D.I.Y. options for all of the above, from the simplest combos of ketchup and vinegar to complex long-cooked preparations. Or let the professionals do it for you. Sanagan’s stocks a full line of locally produced rubs, merinades and sauces, including our own POULTRY RUB, BBQ SAUCES AND SANGAN’S POPULAR MARINADES — JERK, TERIYAKE AND SOUVLAKI — NOW AVAILABLE IN 250ml JARS! Pro tip: If you want to apply any merinades or sauces after the meat is cooked, be sure to set aside a quantity that has not come in contact with the raw meat. SMOKE Smoke is an important part of so many great cuisines and, obviously, outdoor cooking is where you can smoke it up. Few things bring me more pleasure than the sight of my kettle barbecue wafting wisps of aromatic hardwood smoke as I stand by, beer/wine and-or cocktail in one hand and instant read thermometer in the other. Hardwood chunks or chips are the most suitable options for home smoking. With charcoal, you put the wood right on the coals. With gas you need a smoker box which can be an aluminum foil pan placed under the grill. Once you start smoking, prepare for a lot of research and trial and error. Remember, smoking is addictive. Pro Tip: After about four hours of smoking, feel free to move that big cut off the charcoal and into the oven, or just continue on the gas grill without any more smoke. It’s a relief from tending the fire and you can get on with the potato salad. And no one can tell the difference. TOOLS This can be an endless list but here’s the bare minimum for sensible, comfortable, reliable Q fun. Long-Handled Grill Tools: Really just a pair of sturdy tongs and some sort of sturdy flipper/spatula thing should cover most of the action. If you’re going to barbecue something huge, a fork would also come in handy. Instant Read Thermometer: Given the variables of grilling, almost all recipe cooking times can be imprecise. Save your meat and possibly your health with an accurate, fast-reading thermometer. Charcoal Chimney: Looks like a great big empty can with a handle and allows you to light your charcoal without stinky lighter fuel. Pro Tip: Soap and water is an excellent tool. A clean barbecue is a safer, more efficient, longer-lasting barbecue. Egalitarian Footnote: For you apartment dwellers with no home grill access, they’re a number of affordable portable grills that are entirely park-compatible.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Broken Rice

I’ve never been to Vietnam, but I’m going to imagine they would appreciate my blatant rip-off/emulation of one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes – Com Ga Nuong. Many Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto serve this delicious dish of marinated and grilled chicken on steamed rice, with raw and pickled vegetables on the side. Always so good, especially on a hot summer’s day; cold beer in hand. I call this a rip-off, but really, it’s more of a mix of culinary ideas. Instead of plain steamed rice, I’ve added savory Chinese sausage and green onions to the mix, giving the rice an added depth that marries well with the chicken. Although, this marinade is so good, you’ll probably want to just use it on all kinds of meat, and serve it with whatever is kicking in your pantry. Serves 4-6 Ingredients Chicken: 1 chicken, about 3.5 lbs Marinade: 3 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped 3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped 1/4 cup fish sauce 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp yuzu juice (or lime juice) 1 tbsp black pepper, ground 2 tbsp canola oil Ginger Stock: 1 chicken carcass 4 green onions, cut in half 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 1 tbsp salt Rice: 1.5 cups broken rice, rinsed under cold running water until the water loses its cloudiness* 1.5 cups ginger stock 4 tbsp green onion, sliced 4 pieces Chinese sausage, sliced into rounds** 2 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp canola oil Method Ask your butcher to halve the chicken, removing the breast bone and carcass. Or, do it yourself: place the chicken on a cutting board, breast up and legs towards you. Using a sharp knife, slice on either side of the breast-bone. Slowly cut the breast away from the carcass bone. When you reach the joint between the leg and the breast, separate the thigh bone from the carcass. Cut the breast completely away from the back bone. Repeat on the other side. You should be left with two half-chickens – a boneless breast with leg and wing attached. Score the leg three times on each side – this will help with even cooking time. Set the chicken aside in a bowl. In a clean bowl, whisk all of the marinade ingredients together until the sugar dissolves. Don’t worry if you can’t find yuzu juice – it’s hard to get and not compulsory. Lime juice will work perfectly. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Meanwhile, make the ginger stock. Place the carcass from your chicken into a pot and fill with cold water. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1.5 hours, then remove from heat and cool. Strain and reserve the stock. Now to cook the rice. In a small pot over a medium heat, sweat the sausage in the oil for two minutes or until very fragrant. Stir in the green onion and the rinsed broken rice, and add the ginger stock and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, give it a good stir, then lower the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for twenty-five minutes, then remove from heat. Keep the lid on for an additional ten minutes, allowing the steam to finish the cooking process. While the rice is cooking, start the chicken. Preheat the grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the hot grill, turning every so often until the chicken is cooked through (use an internal probe thermometer to test the doneness – it should read 180°F when plunged into the thickest part of the leg meat). You will need to watch the chicken as it cooks, as the sugar in the marinade could scorch if left unattended for too long. Remove the chicken and rest. Slice the chicken into serving pieces. Spoon the rice onto a platter and serve the chicken on top. Serve immediately with lime wedges, pickled vegetables, and a salad. Notes: *Broken rice is considered a sub-par rice that didn’t make the cut of being whole grain rice, and is therefore usually a little cheaper. I like it because it gives the dish a bit of a rustic feel. **Chinese sausage is a cured pork sausage that is traditionally steamed before consuming. It’s sold in most Asian supermarkets, but if you can’t find any, try a dried chorizo or cacciatore.


Product InfoSanagans

Tourtière is one of our best-selling items during the holidays. Quebecois in origin, the meat pie dates back to the region’s colonial settlements where it became part of the Christmas Réveillon feast. Luckily, the French-Canadians were kind enough to eventually disseminate their delicious dish across Canada and parts of New England. We sell it year round but for many people it’s still a holiday specialty.

If anyone doubts the exclusively Canadian origin of tourtière you need only to consult The Larousse Gastronomique to confirm that no such dish exists in France. It is the butter tart of main courses.

Like any good creation myth, the origins of the term tourtière are up for debate. There are two main schools of thought; the pan people and the pigeon people. The pan folk hold dear the notion that tourtière derives its name from the French ceramic tourtière dish in which you cook a pie or a tourte. Like how a casserole comes in a casserole. In the opposing camp are the pigeon people who believe, as states The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, that “originally this French-Canadian specialty was prepared with passenger pigeons or tourtes as they were known in French”. Regardless, we hold it as a matter of faith that our tourtières are the best in town.

When making tourtière the Sanagan’s kitchen starts with our house-made pastry which is filled with onion, bacon and ground pork simmered in milk with pepper, clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and thyme.

Purchased cooked, they only need to be reheated. Or take home a frozen one and finish it in the oven for a fresh-baked experience. Either way, they bring a delectable feast of culinary Canadiana to your table.

If you’re thinking of adding tourtière to your Sanagan’s shopping list for the holidays be sure to place your order soon. It’s an old-time favourite that sells out fast.




As you stroll through Sanagan’s your eyes hungrily survey our prepared foods; the pies, sandwiches, soups, salads, condiments, pickles, etc. Unseen are the creators of this cornucopia, Chef de Cuisine Anne Hynes and her kitchen team who toil on the second floor of our Kensington shop, industriously stirring, simmering and baking up a storm directly above our customer’s heads.

Anne describes the kitchen squad as, “an interesting split of young people starting out in the business and career cooks who look for a change of pace out of the restaurant world. They act as mentors to the younger people“

What may not be immediately apparent to Sanagan’s customers is the truly homemade nature of
our prepared foods. The stuffing and gravy that will be pouring out of the kitchen this December is a case in point. Excepting the quantity, your grandmother would happily recognize the entire preparation. Our from-scratch ethic is also expressed in our pie crust which consists of nothing more than flour, butter, house-made lard, salt, a touch sugar and a lot of expert rolling. And the two most important things that go into our bone broth are a pot load of bones and 24 hours of slow, slow simmering.

Anne emphasizes a sense of staff ownership in all they produce. “We all work very hard on our
recipes, as it is the heart of how and why the kitchen works the way it does. That is the reason why we make such consistent food.”

It’s during the holidays that the Sanagan’s kitchen really kicks into high gear, as our Holiday Menu will attest. And Anne oversees it all. “You need to have a plan to make 200 tourtière”.

If you’re thinking of adding tourtière to your Sanagan’s shopping list for the holidays be sure to place your order soon. It’s an old-time favourite that sells out fast.

One Pâté More

One Pâté More

Just one green vegetable. Or juice. Or something. That certainly wasn't what we travelled to Paris to find, but by the end of day three it's about all we wanted. In late March, Peter, Scott (our Charcutier) and I travelled on an overnight flight to Paris, with the nearly singular goal of experiencing as much authentic French charcuterie as we possibly could in less than 72 hours. We went immediately from the airport to our first three stops, with a quick espresso and croissant to get us started. As most of these shops are on the smaller side, and jam-packed with product, we decided just to pick up the items that most appealed to us (a caveat here, it was all appealing to us, but we were mostly focused on products that we are either currently producing a version of, or would like to produce) and bring them back to our Air BnB to taste and compare. We learned a hard lesson that first day. Nearly 20 different types of pâté, terrine, sausage, salami, rillette, etc. etc. is just too many to taste in an abbreviated afternoon, no matter how much enthusiasm you bring with you. Having said that, our over-zealousness on afternoon one didn't preclude us from keeping our dinner reservation at the charcuterie centric Arnaud Nicolas, and tasting another four pâtés (the appetizer), and a main course pâté en croûte. Day two followed a very similar pattern, with us covering a fair portion of the area north and east of where we were staying and visiting around fifteen charcutiers, traiteurs and boucheries. Again, we returned to our rental late-afternoon, with bread, wine and charcuterie in hand. Our lone meal of the day (again, save a quick pastry and more than a few espressos) was comprised heavily of pork meat, pork fat, pork liver, duck liver, goose liver, chicken liver...well, you get the point. In fairness, I think we also squeezed in a few grapes, strawberries, and cornichons, just for nutritional balance. The main takeaway for us on our whirlwind tour (aside from learning that yes, a person can eat too much pâté), was that we've now found a proper reference point for the direction we want to take our charcuterie program. Scott has already begun tweaking some recipes (less spicing in the brine, more belly and jowl rather than lean trim and fat, etc.), and added others to his repertoire (Pâté en Croûte Richelieu, pork liver mousse) based on our experience in Paris. There is such a culture around charcuterie in France and we hope to capture at least a piece of that here in Toronto. Please, the next time you come in, don't forget to try out some of our many pâtés and terrines, and let us know how we're doing.
Happy As A Pig in Perth

Happy As A Pig in Perth

Producer InfoSanagans
Tanjo Family Farm is owned by TANya and JOhn Gerber. Get it? They supply us with much of the pork you see in our window as chops, tenderloins, sirloins, and shoulders. On a beautiful April morning, we took a tour of Tanjo with John, whose family has been farming in the Perth region, west of Kitchener, since the 1850’s. If I was a pig, I’d be happy to live at Tanjo. I’d have lots of and lots of straw to roll around and hide in. Given my spacious pen, I might take up jogging. Or snoozing. There’d be lots of socializing with my same-aged pig peers. And best of all, I’d have access to the outdoor pen should I feel the need to get some fresh air or have a wallow. Indeed, I’d be an active pig, which also make me a tastier pig…oh, okay, I see where this is going. Tanjo Pig Points • Yorkshire/Landrace/Duroc crosses: Yorkshires and Landraces are good mothers. Durocs are well-muscled and have good loins with less fat cap. • R.W.A.: Raised Without Antibiotics, Added hormones, or Animal Protiens. Ever. • Free-run in unheated barns: This means better marbeling and texture. • Access to outdoors: Exposure to the elements makes Tanjo pigs more disease resistant. • Feed: Non-GMO corn, soy, spelt, vitamins and minerals. • Slaughter: John takes the pigs to slaughter himself in his trailer. It’s a 15 minute drive. The pigs are transported and processed in social groups for lower stress. All these factors improve life for the pigs and their nutritional and culinary value. We’re proud to sell Tanjo pork here at Sanagan’s!