Sunday, January 16, 2011
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
Luciano Pavarotti, My Own Story
Have I mentioned my little red pot? It's my new favorite kitchen thing. I've had my eye on a lovely Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch oven, for the last several years, but just couldn't rationalize forking over three hundred bucks for a pot. Just before the holidays, my local Aldi store had Dutch ovens for $39. Can you believe it? My red beauty is just as nice, and I love it even more because it was such a bargain.
I promised a chicken recipe from my new I Know How to Cook by Ginette Mathiot, but I must post this recipe, from the same book, first. Last year's film Julie and Julia sent everyone scurrying to make this dish, but I would venture to say Julia Child most likely learned to make Beef Bourguignon from Ginette Mathiot. I served this rustic delight with crusty bread for sopping and a glass of Merlot. The slow-cooked beef melts in your mouth and the scent wafts through the house all day. Heaven.
1 Tbsp oil
3 oz. pearl onions (I used regular, chopped)
3 1/2 oz. small bacon cubes (I used sliced, chopped)
1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut in pieces
1/4 cup flour, scant
1 1/4 cup any stock, hot (I used beef broth)
1 1/4 cup red wine
1 bouquet garni (these are so fun, I used fresh rosemary and sage)
salt and pepper (I left out the salt, since the stock and bacon added enough)
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped (I left them whole)
In a heavy pan over medium heat, heat the oil and pay fry the onions and bacon cubes until browned. Remove, add the meat and brown on all sides. Sprinkle with flour, stir until browned, then add the hot stock. Add the bacon cubes, onions, wine and bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently on low for 2 hours, add mushrooms and cook for 30 more minutes.
Note: I doubled the recipe, since we love leftovers at the manor. I baked it all afternoon at 250 degrees in my little red pot, instead of simmering on the stove top.