Saturday Night Special Beef Stew

I really did have a chilling kind of day with my daughter at the bookstore - but what's with all the Christmas decorations and items on sale?  Won't we all just be fed up with it if we have to look at red & white for the next 7 weeks? What about Thanksgiving and AUTUMN? 

Whole Foods meat counter sale of the weekend was not too impressive but I did what I could with their offering of chuck roast at $3.99 a pound  (of course, what we really wanted was a steak dinner at Les Halles).  I always feel as though I have beat the system if I get out of Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck, as it's known) for under $50 - the check-out clerks have been known to give me admiring glances, even - last night the lad ringing me up said with awe in his voice " 3 bags for $50, that's awesome."  (The secret is to resolutely march past the toffee truffle trifles, and the exorbitant imported cheeses, to the 365 products - and never fall for the last minute impulse items while you stand in line.  Stand strong in the face of a tiny upside down pineapple cake for $11.99, no matter how appetizing!) 

The chuck roast is kind of a strange cut - I don't think I have ever bought it before.  I cut it into pieces and I had to cut out a few large strips of fat.  Then, following the "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" technique, I floured and sauteed the pieces in olive oil and butter (do not crowd).  (Julia ate a lot of butter and she lived to be 93, that's what I tell myself and I believe that.)  What did you think of the movie?  My very dear friend Cat & I watched some of the original episodes last month while I was out in Vancouver and we were actually horrified by some of food Julia cooked - have you ever seen the fish bouillabaisse episode ?  No offense, we love Julia, but we were gagging.....

So, after all the pieces were browned, I put them in a large pot on top of the stove (but you should put them in a casserole and into the oven - remember mine is broken), added a cup of can tomatoes, and started them to cook them together........

....meanwhile I sliced and diced a sweet onion, some Crimini mushrooms, and sauteed them in the same pan that I had cooked the beef cubes in - and after they had soften nicely, I added garlic slices.




Anyway, so add them all together with the meat & a cup of red wine, some herbs that you like (oregano, rosemary, paprika) salt, pepper, and leave it to simmer.....later, if you used that sweet onion, you might need to add a splash of balsamic vinegar - I did notice it was quite sweet.  The sauce thickened nicely from the flour and it was SO tasty!  But in the meanwhile I decided to cook some roasted potatoes with lemon - although, honestly, after the way the gravy turned out, I would have preferred mashed potatoes.  But I had been reading this Greek cookbook at the bookstore all afternoon and felt really like a version of delicious Greek lemon is cheating to microwave them first to speed up the cooking process?  Nah...I microwaved them about 5 minutes and then chopped them into nice little shapes along with a half a lemon & put them into the toaster oven to roast (remember that my oven is kaput?) - lots of salt and pepper to season.

Here they are finished and crispy!

Here is my salad again, and I added a few olives...

I recommend simmering the stew for a couple of hours to tenderize that chuck steak (mine could have done with some more time, that's why I am saying it).  But even if the meat was chewy, the sauce was delicious!  Here it is - YUM!  Please make sure you serve it with a lot of French baguette, to soak in the gravy.

Tomorrow, please stay tuned for "poor man's chicken" which I am cooking right this very moment. xoxox

No comments:

Post a Comment