Despite devoting the lion’s share of my time to cooking, even I sometimes just have to throw something in the slow cooker, pray for success, and run. A couple of fairly recent keepers in that category are:
Give me a cold day. Any cold day. Let me have time and peace to stir together something that incubates in my oven gently easing its teasing, come-hither aromas throughout the house and drawing near all who enter. Add an entrancing, captivating book waiting for me during that 3-hour parole and I am a happy girl. Ok, include a balanced, but lofty bottle of wine and the deal is sealed.
For Election Day 2016, I’m spending my time making my streamlined Beef Burgundy. It’ll take my mind off what’s going on, keep me from checking my phone or computer too often, and give Dave, the dogs, and me something great to smell.
Even my streamlined Beef Burgundy takes a good bit of time (I started yesterday) and should be shared. Who needs friends more than on election night? We invited a couple of really close ones for the meal and for the duration–whichever comes first. Continue reading
If you wanted a slow cooker pot roast recipe, I doubt you’d look here. (I don’t do a lot of slow cooker.) Maybe you wouldn’t look anywhere; you’d just put your meat and vegetables together into the pot with your wine, broth, or herbs and turn it on. That’s what I do on the occasions I make this meal. I decided to blog it, though, because I had such good luck getting a big frozen piece of meat cooked and on the table quickly using a slow cooker. No more excuses if you’ve forgotten to unthaw your meat and the morning has disappeared; you can still make a great no-watch meal in a short afternoon. The rest of the time is yours to take a bath, watch the dogs sleep, read the paper, garden, call your daughter, or binge-watch Downton. So put this one in your back pocket for when you need it…
(Below: Right after the Super Bowl. All worn out.
FROZEN POT ROAST SLOW COOKER DINNER with horseradish, carrots, and onions IN 4.5 HOURS
I cooked Monday for Inter-Faith Hospitality network (IHN) families; it’s something I’ve done for years at more than one church. It’s a way of living life that makes a lot of sense to me; I like to cook and there are people who need dinner. Here in Colorado Springs at First Congregational Church, we bring already cooked or nearly finished complete meals to a church kitchen where families without physical homes gather, eat dinner with us, and then spend the night. A group of churches and temples work together and the homeless people spend a week at one place and then move to another while awaiting jobs and/or permanent housing. It gives all of the congregations a chance to participate without burdening any one financially or otherwise with the full-time housing of the ever-changing group.
Typically, but not always, a dinner coordinator makes contact a couple of months ahead and asks what I’d like to make; for other churches there’s a set menu for each week. The families aren’t the same, so it doesn’t matter if there’s meat loaf on Monday and chicken with rice on Tuesdays, etc. every time. That gives the dinner coordinator a repeating group of tasks that the volunteers become used to. For instance, if I’m a shopping volunteer, I might know that every two months I’ll make a run to Costco for fresh milk, ground beef, chicken pieces, broccoli, spinach, etc. Once a year, I might need to buy paper napkins and cocoa mix. If I’m a cooking volunteer and I’m scheduled for Wednesday, I know I’ll be making baked potatoes with toppings. I find I like both options, though the latter gives me time to spend with other volunteers cooking in the kitchen rather than fixing food on my own at home.
If by chance you have both, and even if you’re a cat person, you should make a Steak and Blue Cheese Chopped Salad. For 2. Or double it for 4. Continue reading
Over the holidays, and since, we’ve been making big pots of soup when we weren’t finishing off the leftovers. Colds, strep throat, and the need for lighter fare after all the heavy meals were the instigators, but the weather contributed… Today, the sun came out to melt the snow–
and it was time for something else: real cooking in the oven maybe? Two big pot roasts called my name at the store the other day, and one of them simply jumped into the Dutch oven cut up with a big bunch of cooked green chiles and onions. Sounded incredibly homey–a beef and green chile braise kept coming to mind (rather than chili, per se)–but I also decided to whip up a pot of cheddar mashed potatoes to keep it company. A side of barely tender green beans, stirred up with just the teensiest bit of butter rounded out the meal.
Dave’s on the road (he’ll have his share Friday night), but Sean and I each had a lovely bowl of this goodness and, when we did, we happened to look out the big, low window in the sun room that’s becoming my dining room only to meet eyes with a great big, muscular bobcat (lynx.) Living in Colorado has its beautiful moments. And other things. The dogs said zip. Scaredy cats. Which was good; they were staying inside. Continue reading
In St. Paul, there’s a high below 1 degree Fahrenheit today. It was -14 degrees when I got up and pressed the button for coffee this morning. I stayed home, cried throughout the inauguration, and did what any self-respecting, frozen food blogger would do. I made beef burgundy…or boeuf bourguignon… If you can spell it, you can make it.
The inauguration poet, Richard Blanco’s poem, “One Today” was one of the highlights for me. The other was James Taylor singing “America the Beautiful,” of course. The speech was so, so fine.
ANYWAY….After all the stir! about Julie and Julia for all that time….and all the hype about boeuf bourguignon, I think we may have come down to earth. I no longer hear neighbors rolling the name of the dish around their hungry tongues and the Meryl Streep or Amy Adams talk is long past the appetizing roles of Julia and Julie. For the record, I’d love a whole movie about Julia starring Meryl Streep. Sadly director Nora Ephron last year crossed the river and is now surely writing all kinds of wonderful things God doesn’t require her to any longer sell.
Beef burgundy, after all, is just beef cooked in burgundy–which is simply–and not so simply– a lovely French wine made in the Burgundy area of France from Pinot Noir grapes. (We make incredible burgundy here in the states–visit Oregon and taste their perfect Pinot Noirs. See below for a brief note about that.) I won’t tell if you cook the beef in some other red wine that you just happen to have or in beef stock if that’s your preference. Of course, then it wouldn’t be beef burgundy. It would be beef cooked in red wine or beef stew.
And the feeling that it’s not beef burgundy if it’s not made according to Julia’s recipe is just not right. HELLO! Is beef stew not beef stew if we don’t make it exactly like our mother did or the same as some cookbook recipe? There are, I’d guess, many French cooks who cook up beef and Burgundy with a few other additions. (Though the French are sticklers for form. See below for a French blogger’s take/photos on the dish.) The typical beef burgundy recipe is, like many French dishes, short on vegetables, and long on directions. While mine still takes 3 hours in the oven, I’ve made a few short-cuts, and added a few more vegetables for health and balance. It’s worth doing a day (or night) ahead and just heating up if you’d like to serve it for company. You then can focus on dessert, the table, work, or giving the house a lick and a promise.
I love that we make most dishes with what’s available or what we need to cook or eat. (I buy several big chuck roasts when they’re on sale at Whole Foods. Then I’m ready for really cold-day meals. My big freezer is, however, in the garage; I have to brave the below zero temps to bring in the meat!) We are not bound to anything written down on earth or on the internet or on Grandma Sadie’s well-worn and stained recipe cards. Use your heart and use your God-given imagination. Turn on the stove, dream, and cook. And while you’re at it, enjoy feeding someone; they’ll enjoy eating this, I promise.
(As I set the table tonight, I glanced through the weekend edition of WSJ, which — funny/odd–had an article on cooking beef burgundy in a pressure cooker! Worth pursuing.)
streamlined beef burgundy with vegetables
-serves 6-8 –can be made a day ahead and reheated
- In a 6-8-quart Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, heat 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter over medium flame. Add 2 cups thawed frozen pearl onions and 8 ounces of cut-in-half button mushrooms. Sprinkle with a generous pinch each of black pepper and dried thyme. Let brown, then stir, and let cook a bit more until tender. Remove from pot, cool, and refrigerate until later. To the pot, add 3 chopped pieces of bacon and let cook until nearly done. Remove from pot, cool, and refrigerate until later along with the onions and mushrooms. Leave bacon fat in pan. In 3 batches, brown very well 3 pounds of beef chuck roast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, dried with towels, floured, salted and peppered. (If the pan becomes too dry, add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. All the brown in the bottom of the pan will come up later.) When last batch is nearly browned, add 2 finely chopped yellow onions, 2 finely chopped stalks of celery, and 3 chopped cloves of garlic. Let cook a couple of minutes, stirring, and pour in 1/4 cup brandy (or red wine) and bring to a boil. Stir to bring up bits at bottom if the onions didn’t do the job. Let cook 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the beef you browned earlier back into the pot and stir.
- To pot, add 3 peeled carrots cut into 1–2 inch pieces, 2 each peeled and sliced parsnips and turnips (small), and 1 cored and sliced fennel bulb. Stir in 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 2 Turkish bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Tie up a half-bunch of parsley and lay it on top.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Taste and, if necessary (and I think it is), sprinkle vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and, if desired (I desire), a pinch of crushed red pepper. Pour a 750ml bottle of Burgundy (Pinot Noir) or red Rhone wine and 2 cups beef or chicken stock over all. Cover and place in oven.
- Cook until beef is tender, 2 1/2 – 3 hours. When beef is nearly done, add the reserved pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon, return to oven until quite hot–perhaps 15 minutes. (If you briefly heat the onion mixture before adding it to the stew, you’ll save time.)
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If too thin, thicken stove top with the addition of a tablespoon or two of flour whisked into 1/4 cup water or wine. Stir in and bring to a boil, cooking until thickened up a bit. ** If stew is too thick, add 1-2 cups of chicken or beef stock (not wine) or water and let heat again stovetop. Taste and re-season if necessary. I like the stew to be loose enough for dunking bread (as I note) or for mashing up a root vegetable in. In other words, you need the gravy.
- Serve hot garnished with a little chopped fresh parsley or, if not needed until tomorrow, cool totally, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Next day, re-heat over low flame slowly, covered, stirring often for a half hour or so. It should come to a boil at least briefly before serving.
- I like it best with big chunks of baguette for dunking, though the usual suspects are new potatoes or, according to my French teacher, egg noodles.
- Typically a little green salad with vinaigrette is served here in the states with the beef. I also like it with some quickly steamed green beans and a drizzle of mustard-vinaigrette as a salad. It’s nice to have something with a bit of crunch for contrast. Serve with Pinot Noir ^^ or French Burgundy.
**You can also use equal amounts of butter and flour, mashed together (buerre manie)–perhaps a tablespoon or two each.
A PHOTO STORY:
|I had no French brandy or cognac; I do keep Asbach Uralt in the house.|
|I used an inexpensive A-Z Pinot (2008) for cooking.|
|I freeze tomato paste in small bags and just take out what I need.|
THE WINE–skip this if you’ve got the wine figured…
Quality Burgundy (French) is pretty pricey, though there are some at lower price points worth drinking. Check at the wine shop if you’re set on a European wine.
^^There are many great Oregon Pinots--Sineann, Ken Wright, Cristom, Bethel Heights, WillaKenzie, Soter, Privé, Domaine Serene, and more… Read about Oregon Pinots here, though F&W gives a different list of favorite wineries. These are, mostly, special occasion wines ($40 and up), but a couple of vineyards are producing lower-priced or entry level Oregon Pinots (Ken Wright –$30–and Tony Soter–$20– that I know of).
Beef Burgundy is worth a special occasion wine like an Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s a fine meal you don’t make too often. But….if you really can’t splurge for the night… A much lower-priced Pinot that’s not a shame to drink might be A-Z or even Angeline. Inexpensive (or cheap) Pinot Noirs aren’t worth drinking. (I’d rather drink coke and be sober is the tag line.) You might want to buy a French Rhone red wine instead, which is a blend often dominated by the Syrah grape, inexpensive, a decent value, and consistently tasty. Ask someone at the wine shop which Rhone they like. Buy three bottles if you can; one to cook with, one to drink, and one for leftovers. You could try different producers and see which you like best.
OTHER INFO YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
A French food blogger’s boeuf-bourguignon with lots of photographs.
Want to watch Julia’s first French Chef show on how to make Boeuf Bourguignon? It’s very entertaining and there’s tons to learn! See her taste the stew out of the cooking spoon… Note her washing machine and dryer in the kitchen and hear her say SEWTAY.
Sing a new song,
|Made in a deep, heavy 8 quart cast iron pot with a lid (Dutch oven)|
Last year around this time, I made a pot roast with big pieces of butternut squash and halved onions in the oven. A day later I took the leftovers, including the gravy, and made stew. Stew from leftovers is definitely an improvement over freshly made stew. There’s a deeper, fuller, and more flavorful rich quality–without question. It’s just that there’s usually less than when you make a fresh pot. That stew made very quickly with the addition of more onions, celery, and Guinness stout, etc., was divine. I mean it, it was an incredible stew.
No who knows totally why one time things are so scrumptious you want more and more — and another time (same ingredients and method apparently) it’s like, “This is ok. Yeah, we can eat dinner here.” Perhaps it’s the quality of the meat (in the case of stew) or maybe it’s a little pixie dust. Your taste buds might be on their “A” game so that you are able to season the pot in an extraordinary way. Truly, I just don’t know. I know when I’m tired — really exhausted– the meal prepared under those circumstances is plebian. I just did that recently, so I know. I know when I don’t give something my undivided attention that it’s bound to be less interesting. (As in the kids are hungry-throw a bunch of cut-up chicken in the oven and make some rice for God’s sake.)
Despite the fact that I make several pots of stew over the winter each year, I remembered that one. I also remembered I was determined to recreate it from scratch if possible. Hence this pot of stew that, by the end of the cooking, morphed into one big pot pie.
If you’d like stew only, add a cup or two more liquid, and skip the biscuits. I did not try it, but I’d guess it’s possible to make the stew all day in the crock-pot–cutting down the amount of herbs–, pour it into an oven-safe pot and bake with the biscuits right at dinner time. Another option might be (again, I didn’t try this) to cool the stew and top it with puff pastry. (If you put the puff pastry on hot stew, it’ll be melting.) That might appeal to some cooks more than making biscuit dough. Like Bisquick biscuits? Go on; I won’t know, though I encourage you to learn to make biscuits. I once knew a woman whose husband insisted he married her because she could make beaten biscuits in her sleep.
Come cold, there’s little more satisfying than a pot of stew in the oven. (Play cards. Listen to music. Watch “Michael.”) One of the interesting things about this stew is it’s made without potatoes though you could add some if you’d like. I prefer root vegetables and stick with carrots, turnips, parsnips, as well as celery, onions, garlic, and butternut squash. Serve this with another couple of cold Guinness stouts or a glass of your favorite Syrah or Côtes du Rhône if you’re not a dark beer person. (You’ll still love the stew; I promise.)
Here’s how in a picture recipe (scroll down for separate ingredients list and biscuit recipe):
|To the second batch of browning beef, add 2 large chopped onions. When beef is nearly brown, add four cloves chopped garlic. Cook a minute, return first batch of beef to the pot, and stir in 3 tablespoons flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring.|
|Add 4 ounces quartered button mushrooms along with one each turnip and parsnip , 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, and 1 cup of butternut squash, all cut into around 1/2 inch pieces.|
|Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and bake in the oven 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened.|
|Remove from oven and take out the fresh herb sprigs.^ If stew is very, very thick, add a little water or broth. Biscuits will soak up a lot of the liquid.|
|Meanwhile, make cheddar-dill biscuit dough. It’s a very wet dough. (See below for recipe.)|
|Spoon biscuit dough (I used a wooden spoon) onto the top of the cooked stew. Brush biscuits with a tablespoon of melted butter. Biscuits will rise and expand to nearly cover top of pie.|
|Return to oven and bake uncovered another 20-30 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.|
|Serve hot with a crisp green salad. Store leftovers well covered in frig 2-3 days. Rewarm in another casserole in oven.
Ingredients List: 2-3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces; salt and pepper; 2 large onions; 4 cloves garlic; 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; 2 cups each beef broth and Guinness stout**; 4 ounces button mushrooms; one each turnip and parsnip; 2 carrots; 1 cup cut butternut squash; 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 bay leaf, and 1 sprig each rosemary, thyme, and sage*; 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish or Tabasco.
*You may substitute two teaspoons each dried rosemary (crumbled) and thyme with 1/2 teaspoon ground sage.
**If you don’t want to use beer, use all beef broth.
^ Leave in bay leaf. Whoever gets it has good luck!
Cheddar Dill Biscuits for Pot Pie:
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, diced–plus 1 more tablespoon, melted for tops of biscuits
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add cold butter and using a pastry blender or two knives (you can use just your fingers or even do the whole thing in a food processor), cut in the butter until the butter is mostly blended and the mixture appears sandy. Stir in cheese. Pour in milk and mix well without over-mixing. (Using a large spoon, divide dough fairly evenly around the top of the pot pie and brush with the tablespoon of melted butter before baking.)
two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood
It’s my Mom’s birthday today…Lovely to remember her on her special day. She crossed the river in ’85. One of my mom’s many good lines was, “I’m so full I don’t know where I’m going to sleep tonight.”
I often think of her in view the Hopi poem I heard again yesterday at the funeral of a fine, fine man…
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet white doves in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
In the house and yard this week…..
|I’ve re-worked and re-photographed one of the favorite recipes on both blogs–Cherry Tomato Chicken Pasta with Basil. Updated version coming soon to a blog near you.|
|The 30 Second and No Pan to Wash Egg on Dinner Place (Cooking for One)–my other blog.|
|Miss Gab loves to stay under the piano–whether I’m working there or not.|
|Tuck ready for HIS close-up|
|The last roses of summer from my huge, old fashioned bush. I brought them in as buds over a week ago!|
|Saturday, I baked oatmeal chocolate chips for the authors in town for Opus and Olives, one of the premiere literary events in the Twin Cities held each fall at the Crown Plaza Hotel in St. Paul. (Mark Shriver said he’d eaten his six all in a row; he’d had no food in hours while traveling!) Dave and I also went the banquet and enjoyed a fine meal with great folks while we listened to the each author speak. (My favorite was Cheryl Strayed, but then again, I adored her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.)|
|Meantime, we have lots of ripe cherry tomatoes from the garden to eat and…|
|more ripening! (It’s October 17…)|
And, because it’s October, I’m listening to the choir’s Christmas cantata (or playing it at the piano) every day. This year, it’s By Heaven’s Light by Allen Pote. For fun, it’s even on youtube, though it’s in six (I think!) different segments.
Sing a new song,
|Late afternoon, 12/30/2010|
When it’s nice and cold,
I can hold my baby closer to me–
and collect the kisses that are due me.
I love the winter weather
’cause I’ve got my love to keep me warm….
Today, Emi and I ran out to get a video game, hit Whole Foods and King Sooper’s. In the middle, we just had to have lunch together. As we sat by the window of the restaurant, I looked outside and said, “We’ve got to get home.” There’s just this look in the skies and about the air when all hell’s about to break loose. The snow began to fly as we drove south, but it let up by the time we got to the grocery store. I ran in the liquor store to grab a little Cotes du Rhone to round off the bean soup and wienies for dinner, while she got started on the grocery list. Five minutes later, I walked in to find no carts at all. I knew we were in trouble. It was us and everybody else in Colorado Springs. All at King Sooper’s. Together. The bread aisle was slim indeed and I was thanking God I got my bread earlier at Great Harvest. Milk? Same story, but thanks be I only needed heavy cream for a horseradish sauce for a friend’s New Year’s Eve tenderloin. The lines were 6 deep, but all of registers were open. Thanks for good planning, store manager. Emi said, “This is how the store where I live is all the time… and people are not happy in line. No one talks or smiles. New Jersey, ugh.” I seldom wait for more than one or two people in front of me; often I’m first. Wow.
By the time we got out to the car, visibility was zero. Snow was flying in all directions, mostly sideways. The wind had picked up to an amazing pitch and the temperature had dropped ten degrees. Two inches of snow were on the ground and it was a freezing mess to just open the trunk door and throw the bags in. We felt our way home behind a crawling car in front of us and were very grateful to see the little grey, wooden house coming up on the right…finally. It was about 2pm and it was obvious it would be dark early, which it is.
Thanks, God, for a warm house, heat, hot water, loving family, a working stove (where the bean soup bubbles) and a lovely fireplace where we’ll roast wienies tonight. Why not?
If you don’t cook in the fireplace, try it sometime. Fun, fun. This pic if one I took last spring when the menu was the same as tonight.
Meantime, I thought I’d leave you with a great New Year’s Eve dinner that you might really like to make–either now or later. But I think it’d be a wonderful celebration for 6-8. Not a tenderloin and not the price, this time-taking (yes) prep is made with flank steak. Cool thing is, it braises slowly in the oven while you share a bubbly or two with your friends and put your feet up on the coffee table. Once the prep’s done, the work is nearly done.
Here’s what it looks like from nearly the beginning to end…. I like some skinny green beans cooked in the microwave, a great baguette, and some fresh pasta with it. You could make do with a salad and bread.
Ultimate Beef Braciole (Tyler Florence)-—Alyce’s altitude/seasoning adjustments in italics
Note: do not try and get this tender in the amount of time allotted if you’re at altitude
For the Braciole:
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 anchovy fillets, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup buffalo mozzarella bocconcini balls, sliced in half if large size
- 1/2 cup store-bought, drained and roughly chopped roasted red peppers
- 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-pound piece flank steak
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
For the Braising ingredients:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, gently smashed
- 2 small onions, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 c red wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
- 8 vine-ripened tomatoes, separated from vine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
To make the Braciole: Toast the panko bread crumbs in a dry skillet with a little olive oil over low heat, until golden. Add to a large mixing bowl along with the anchovy, garlic, bocconcini, red peppers, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, to taste. Stir together until well combined.
Set the flank steak on a piece of plastic wrap. Make a deep horizontal slice along the steak almost all the way through and fan open like a book. Lay another piece of plastic wrap on top. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, gently flatten the steak until about 1/2-inch thick; take care not to tear. Discard the top sheet of plastic wrap; rub the surface with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Arrange the eggs lengthwise down the center of the meat and roll up like a jelly roll log, using the plastic wrap as support. Tie the roll with kitchen twine in 4 to 5 places to secure – this will help hold the shape and keep the filling from falling out. Season outside of roll very well indeed with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put a roasting pan across 2 burners and heat over medium heat. Add a 3-count of olive oil and add the thyme and garlic. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Carefully add the braciole and sear until evenly browned all over, approximately 2 minutes each side.
Add the sliced onions and bay leaves, then stir in the beef broth to deglaze. Add the canned tomatoes over the top, then nestle in the whole vine tomatoes around the braciole. Bring to a simmer, then cover with foil and put in the oven to braise for 45 to 60 minutes. Add 20-30 minutes if at altitude…serve when tender. When done, remove the foil and remove the braciole to a carving board to rest. Carefully remove the whole vine tomatoes, with a slotted spoon, to a plate. Let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf, then add the sauce to a blender and puree. Pour the sauce back into the pan and set over medium heat to bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the balsamic vinegar. Remove the kitchen twine from the beef and cut into 1-inch thick “pin-wheel” slices. Arrange the slices on a platter and arrange the whole vine tomatoes around the beef. Pour the sauce over the top, garnish with
chopped parsley and serve.
Haricots Verts with Lemon
1.5 # haricots verts
1 t freshly grated lemon rind
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large, microwave proof bowl, place beans with 1/4 cup water. Cover tightly and cook in microwave at full power for about five minutes. Test for doneness. Drain and place in serving bowl. Dust with lemon rind, salt and pepper to taste.
Here in the Springs, I buy pasta (linguine for this) at Mollica’s on Garden of the Gods. Two pounds for 8 people is plenty and will cost you about $11. Call ahead to make sure they have some; you can order some a few days ahead to make sure. Bring 10 qts of water, well salted and peppered, to a boil and gently place raw pasta into the water… you’ll need to carefully separate the strands of linguine. Cook until al dente…perhaps five or six minutes. Remove from water or drain and, after placing in a serving bowl, add 1T olive oil and 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley.
We liked a Barbera ($) or a Barolo ($$) with this. Vintages Wine on Tejon has some lovely choices.
Get your baguette at Marigold or La Baguette.
I like a little sparkler and some spiced nuts…not much more. This is a big meal. Gruet (New Mexico) makes a sweet sparkler that’s not overly priced and is nearly local. Otherwise, grab some prosecco and be glad.
Stay warm, be happy in 2011. You will be if you eat this for New Year’s Eve.
If you live in the Springs, I’m thinking you should have bought New Year’s Eve dinner already.