Beef Bourguignon

It’s rainy and cold outside. It’s my favorite weather for slow cooked Beef Bourguignon. Not only is it a rather easy dish to prepare, it fills the house with comforting smells and warmth from the oven 🙂

Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Beef Bourguignon
serves about 6
* 2 lbs stewing meat (beef cubes)
* 1 bottle of Pinot Noir
* 2 TBSP fennel seeds
* zest from 1/2 a navel orange
* 1 bay leaf
* 8 sprigs of thyme
* 6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
* a carton of crimini mushrooms (try to get small ones or cut larger ones in half)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 handfuls of baby carrots
* 2 TBSP tomato paste
* salt and pepper to taste

Put the beef, wine, fennel, bay leaf and orange zest in a non-reactive bowl and marinate overnight.

~3 hours before you want to serve dinner, take the beef out of the marinate and let it sit on paper towels. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven, render the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Dump all but 2 TBSP of the bacon grease. Keep the 2 TBSP in the pot.

Sear the semi-dried beef in the bacon grease. (Make sure you turn the meat only once and only when it has a nice golden crust. It shouldn’t take too long per side. ~1-2 mins). You also might need to do this in multiple batches. Don’t crowd the pot. Once seared, remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Add the onions and carrots scraping up any of the browned bits in the pan. Cook on medium for about 5 mins.

Add the tomato paste and stir until it takes on a deeper red color. Add the thyme, marinade (minus the orange peel), and the beef and any beef juices from the reserve bowl. Cook on the stove until slightly simmering.

Cover the pot and put it in the oven at 325 degrees for one hour. Make sure it’s not boiling at this point. If it is, turn down the oven to 300 degrees. Give the pot a stir.

Set your timer for another hour. Check the meat at this point. It should be getting tender and moist. Add the mushrooms and bacon back to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and a tsp of salt. Cook for 30 more minutes.

Take it out of the oven (leaving the lid on the pot). Let it settle for about 20 minutes. Check for salt and pepper. Add accordingly.

Serve with egg noodles, boiled potatoes or French bread.

Enjoy!

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Banana Bread – the search for a great recipe

It’s getting better, my quest for the perfect slice of banana bread made at home. I have a food memory from childhood of a toasty, banana-y, buttery banana bread slice served at my grandma’s house. I’m sure it was store-bought. But I’m on a mission to try to recreate that memory taste.

Today’s recipe is almost there. I still need to tweak the addition of the nuts since those that float to the top of the loaf tend to get too much oven time. However, it’s good enough to archive the recipe to date. In fact, I’m going to go try another slice now that it’s had time to marry together and get to room temp (I might have scalded my tongue in my haste to try out the first slice.)

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Banana Bread
* 3 ripe bananas
* 1/3 c melted butter
* Splash of vanilla
* 1 egg
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* Pinch of cloves
* 3/4 c brown sugar
* 1 tsp baking soda
* Pinch salt
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans
* 1 TBSP flax seeds
* 1 1/2 c flour

Mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Then add the next 7 ingredients. Mix. Then add the baking soda and salt. Add the flour and then the nuts and seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 mins in a buttered loaf pan. Make sure to check the loaf with a toothpick. It should come out clean when inserted in the middle of the loaf.

Serve with butter. Mmmmmm

Thanksgiving Leftover

What did you do with your leftover turkey?

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We boiled the carcass with some water, carrots, parsley and half an onion for 2 hours. After draining the stock, we were left with 3 and a half quarts of roasted turkey stock.

Two of those quarts went into the freezer and the other one and a half went into a pot of turkey posole.

I just diced an onion and sauted it in a TBSP of olive oil. Then I added half a can of tomato paste, 5 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp of cumin, oregano and chili powder along with a bay leaf. I sauted this until the tomato paste got a bit of brown coloring. Then I added the stock and cooked it for 30 mins. I added a drained can of hominy (29 oz) and shredded turkey. Salt to taste and then serve with diced avocado, sour cream, sliced cabbage, diced white onion, cilantro, lemon and tortilla chips.

This was a perfect leftover meal for our rainy day today.