Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stew for 2

Daube Provençale (French Beef Stew with Red Wine)

My daughter sent me a text with this picture from pinterest.com. To suggest maybe we should come to dinner sunday as this was her plans.

I received this text while I was roaming around the grocery story.  My husband sent me to get some meat, he was getting sick of all the quinoa that I'd been making all week and threatened to leave home if he didn't get some meat....

The weather sucked...snow....bad road conditions etc. I  sure didn't want to drive 25km for a what looked like a really good stew.  So I bought a blade steak and texted back to her, "thanks, but some other time---I still didn't change my tires to winter ones yet and I was planning on staying home...but thanks for the suggestion I think I will make this for dinner tonight".

I drove home and slipped and slid around the pathway from garage to back door.  Unloaded the groceries and turned on the computer to get the recipe. Stew ...is... Stew but ...what the heck---I'll follow the recipe I figured.

Recipe from Home Made Winter, by Yvette van Boven.  Serves 8.
  • 3 lb stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cote du Rhone [I used Bordeaux and it was fine, but Yvette recommends Cote du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, or Minervois
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 orange, washed well and cut into 8 wedges [I substituted grapefruit]
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 oz. pitted black olives
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides.  Place meat in a big bowl with wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, orange, onion, and garlic.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours, and preferably 24 hours
  2. .Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.  Remove the meat from the marinade and brown the pieces in the oil on all sides.  Pour the marinade over the meat and bring 
  3. to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface.  Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste, and add 4 1/2 c. water.  Cover, and let stew on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. 15 minutes before the stew is ready, add the pitted olives.  Let cook for 15 minutes on medium heat without the lid to thicken the stew.
  5. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.
Well f#@&... I didn't have any red wine.  Why would I ...no one here drinks the stuff.  I went downstairs and was hoping that mayyyyybe there was some wierd bottle of red that I'd forgotten about on the wine storage rack.   Yes I know...I've been using the rack for folding laundry lately, but there are a few bottles of weird stuff on it.  But not a single bottle of red. Hmmm..

I'm going to have to go out again...and get some red. Crap

I was already going over in my head what I was going to tell the insurance adjuster after  my car was inevitably going to get creamed at one of the 6 or 7 intersections between me and the  wine store. 
I made in there in one piece and waundered around trying to find some red wine as per the recipe. Everything that was suggested was waaaay over my price range for marinating stew overnight.  I settle on a Wolf Blass that was one sale, 

I went back to the grocery store and got some beef stock and thyme for good measure.

After I got home in one piece I cut up all the meat and intended to make half the recipe.

Then I read the recipe again......overnight....what!!!!!


Oh..well - sorry....dear....no steak for dinner tonight
Back to the grocery store.....
I picked up a ham steak ....easy...fast...maybe the spouse will unpack his bag....

Well after I poured the wine over everything and threw it in the fridge overnight...I poured a glass of red for my husband to have a drink with his ham steak and mac and cheese.  Since I only made half the recipe, there was half a bottle of red left.  Ohh well I figured I'd make some spaghetti sauce and use up the rest of the red maybe on monday. This was saturday.

On Sunday....stew night.....by noon the sun was out, snow was melting everywhere...

My sister texted me that my mother and her were driving through and would be stopping in (they showed up thursday for a funeral of her inlaw on saturday about 300 miles north). So I texted her a pic of the supposed stew that my daughter had sent me and suggested they stop in for dinner.  Not expecting her to say yes, expecting her to have already made plans for dinner with her son, where she was expecting to spend the night. I figured we would have a nice visit and they would be on their way before dinner.

My doorbell rang around 2 and expecting some interesting stew they changed their plans and I was expected to produce dinner for 4 instead of 2.  But I was marinating dinner for 2.  Crap what to do...what to do. Well my sister drinks red wine so it was good that I had if nothing else...half a bottle of red. I also had half a head of cauliflower in the fridge...so roasted cauliflower was added.

I quickly browned stuff, added three more carrots to the mix and managed to follow the recipe except for the add water stage, I added beef stock.  Since i was using my magic pot (cast iron thing) after cooking on top of the stove for 1/2 an hour I didn't think it was going to cook in time so I threw the whole thing into the oven with the cauliflower roasting away on the other oven rack.  Added some green salad and ....VOILA!!!


So I sorta followed the recipe, except the time.  After boiling, skimming etc....I got tired of all the stirring and threw the whole mess into the oven.  I should have added a little more stock cause when I opened the lid before serving...it was a little dry.  Next time I will add a little more hot stock just before serving.

It was good stuff.....To bad there was no leftovers except this for picking over before washing up.  I was expecting it to be toooo wineyyyy. But the addition of the beef stock probably worked to dilute the wineynous of it all.  I will definately make this again. In fact maybe tomorrow - if I get another blade steak today.

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