What are your most delicious but time-consuming recipes?

A few days ago I tried making Beef Bourguignon from the Simply Recipes website. It took me almost three hours (!) to make it but it was sooooooooooo worth it - the broth was amazing and totally eclipses any other stew I’ve ever made.

From the same site, I’ve also made this Berry Tart which also is very time consuming (mostly because of the crust) but divine as well.

There is something satisfying about spending hours on a dish and producing something amazing. I fall into a sort of zen-like state where I am completely absorbed in the cooking, and when it’s done I feel a sense of triumph. Yay! I produced something yummy! It was totally worth it!

So please share your own ridiculously time-consuming but absolutely delicious recipes! :slight_smile:

Is that 3 hours of actual working time or just start-to-finish?

edit: If you’re counting start-to-finish time, I’m making this French onion soup right now (just about to cut the onion.) It takes about 4 hours, with attention throughout, although the actual work is maybe 30 minutes. Then there’s barbecue which takes up to 12 hours (the way I do it–others do it up to nearly 24 hours.) But, depending on your set-up, that may only require intermittent attention.

Start to finish - starting with a pile of ingredients and ending up with a plate of food. It wasn’t quite 3 hours - I started around 7:45 and we ate about 10:30 I think.

To be fair, I also made mashed potatoes at the same time. Still, anything that takes over an hour is long in my book.

Vegetable Biryani. Its one of my favortie dishes, but there’s a lot of prep work. The last time I made it I did some of the prep work the night before but it still took a long time.

Cioppino (recipe later if/when I toddle upstairs to find it), although a lot of the time comes from making a fumet first. The biggest time commitment for this recipe, though, is driving all the way across town (45 min each way) to the one good fish monger in the area…

I make Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon sometimes - takes more like four or five active hours. Delicious.

:slight_smile: You should talk to my SO. It’s become kind of a joke around here that I start cooking at 6 p.m. and dinner isn’t plated until 10 p.m. or later. Since I’ve discovered the wonders of a pressure cooker, though, dinner has been greatly expedited. That said, it doesn’t help with French onion soup.

The most labor intensive recipes I have are often the pasta ones. Like pierogi or manti or whatnot. Just takes for fucking ever to roll out the dough and stuff it. (Pierogi are a pain, as you cut them into circles and are forever rerolling and cutting the leftover dough. Manti are a pain because they’re tiny.) Or I have a completely from scratch lasagna recipe that I pull out for special occasions, which has a slow simmered bolognese, a bechamel, and homemade spinach lasagna sheets. That takes a while.

I’ve been meaning to try making my own pasta . . . can you make it ahead of time and freeze it?

I have no clue. I’ve never attempted it. Checking online, it seems to be possible.

OK…Four hours later and the onions are starting to look really, really good. They’ve been on the stovetop for the last hour. I’m not always a big fan of Cook’s Illustrated recipes, but they have a lot of useful tips. The recipe they built this off of I read in an old issue of CI. They had some French chef show them the way he makes French onion soup, and it just involves cooking down the onions, and constantly adding water a quarter cup at a time, and letting it boil off, for the last hour or hour and a half of cooking, until they turn a deep brown. The broth is then built with only water (!), no beef or chicken stock. I’m meeting that French recipe halfway, cooking the onions down more than the linked-to recipe, and adding just 2 cups of homemade beef broth and making up the rest of the liquid with water. We’ll see how it goes. The onions taste amazingly sweet and deep at this point.

I have a recipe for Lumpia that is absolutely delicious, but very labor intensive. It’s basically little eggrolls made with wonton wrappers that are filled with pork, shrimp and veg, that are fried and served with a homemade sweet and sour sauce. I’ve made them twice, and even as good as they are, I may never make them again. :smiley:

I made Coq au Vin once and decided the final result didn’t merit the effort it took to make it. I didn’t really care for it at all.

I make sausage balls every year for the holidays. Easy recipe, but another labor intensive endeavor. One that’s totally worth the effort, though, and now that I have a helper hubby to mix them, it’s not as bad. Most people don’t mix them thoroughly enough. There shouldn’t be any bits left in the bottom of the bowl when you are done kneading. It takes A. Long. Time. to achieve that state. Hubby does all of the kneading now and I do the rolling.

I made Martha Stewart’s Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake once and it was absolutely amazing. It took forever. I haven’t made it again, but mostly because there are only two of us and I couldn’t let cake that good go to waste. Who am I kidding…no cake can go to waste. I don’t need to be eating whole cakes, so I don’t make them unless I know there will be lots of other folks there to eat them.

Not sure if this counts due to the relative lack of effort, but chili. I don’t make my own beans or cook my own tomatoes or anything, but I throw everything together at like 8 AM and let it cook for damn near 10 hours. I do this when I have a day off work, because you do have to stir it every once in awhile, but it’s ohhhhh so tasty. Actually, I think that goes for quite a few stew-like recipes–the longer you let it cook, the better it tastes.

I think lasagna should go here too, because I usually make it the day before, and bake it the next evening. The actual prep takes quite a bit of work, too.

The nice thing about these dishes is that they taste even better the next day.

In Sydney there is an institution known as The Balkan. Has been run by the same Croatian family since the 60’s. It’s spartanly furnished and reasonably priced. Most of the regulars order the same two dishes: bean soup and pollo pollo.

Pollo pollo is simply a mixed grill that would gladden the heart of any meat lover. The bean soup is just magnificent.

It took me years to fine tune the recipe, based on a ham hock, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans, and lots and lots of paprika with chicken stock, tomato and onion base.

It’s still not quite right becase the white tetovac beans it should be made with are rarely available here.

To get the authentic smoky flavour it’s got to be s…l…o…w cooked over at least two days in a big, heavy iron pot. I usually do it in 2-3 stints of 3 hours. Served with crusty bread with fresh garlic rubbed into it and the biggest bodied red wine you can get your hands on. It makes several winters cold nights worth waiting on. Always best on the second and third day.

OK, dinner was plated at 12:20. So 5:20 from start to finish for French onion soup. Was it worth it? Of course. Few things are as good as homemade French onion soup.

Yeah, but I’d probably die of hunger before I got to taste it. :stuck_out_tongue:

In the restaurant biz, the greatest discipline is time… there are only flavorful dishes… you can’t use time as an excuse. The CEO wants it now.

Sure, but it’s not like you cook any of these dishes to order.

Oh, you snack on stuff or plan ahead–as I mention barbecue takes even longer. If I’m doing an afternoon barbecue and want to make brisket, I have to wake up around 4:30 a.m. to start the coals and get things ready. It’s actually a lot of fun if you’re into that sort of thing.

Shit, all my time on the grill was special order. I took more crAazy requests at Mc D’s. Our grill guys wat the hilton, were some of the best though. The sous chefs promoted the best steak and best sauce competition through pride. I would give “big black” a 10 for his “special steak”.

We’re not talking about those dishes in this thread. ETA: I think we may be talking across each other, here. You’re talking about your experience on the grill. Most of us are talking about low-and-slow dishes that take time to prepare. And the restaurant biz has plenty of room for those types of dishes, too.

(I mean I would give him 10$ for a steak… special employee dinner)