Half way through the day I ran to the kitchen and prepared the beginnings of Boeuf Bourguignon. This meal takes 3 hours to cook, so I had to. Let's just say it was my lunch break, even though it wasn't a break... it was therapy. It is a process, but pretty simple to make as long as you have the time. Recipe is below. Turned out perfectly (see pic).
I then made my version of
"Con Combres Salade
I start with 3 cloves of garlic... peeled then finely minced. Put 2 TB olive oil and 4 TB Balsamic Vinegar along with 1/4 tsp salt mixed with the garlic into the fridge covered for at least 2 hours. Right before serving core then cut up 3 beefsteak tomatoes and 3 cucumbers (make sure you core the cucumbers too.. no seeds!) Add 1/2 cup balsamic, the tomatoes and the cucumbers plus 6 fresh minced leaves of Basil to the cold Garlic mixture. Stir and serve SCRUMPTIOUS!!
Boeuf Bourguignon a'la Christi Recipe:
•9- to 10-inch, fireproof casserole dish , 3 inches deep
•6 ounces bacon
•1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
•3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
•1 sliced carrot
•2 sliced yellow onion
•1 cup button mushrooms cut in half
•2 peeled and sliced large russet potatoes
•1 tsp. salt
•1/4 tsp. pepper
•2 Tbsp. flour
•3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti
•2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
•1 Tbsp. tomato paste
•2 cloves mashed garlic
•1/2 tsp. thyme
•Crumbled bay leaf
•Blanched bacon rind
•18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in stock
•1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter
Remove rind from bacon, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.
Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
In the same fat, brown the sliced onions and add 1 tsp sugar to help caramelize. will take 20 - minutes on high heat stirring regularly.
In another pan melt 2 TB butter and 1 tsp oil and brown the mushrooms. Don't crowd. allow for room for proper browning.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Add potatoes and carrots and 1 more tsp salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers
very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
When the melt is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.