Friday, December 3, 2010

the 4 B's of a good dinner

When the local butcher calls us to see how we'd like our friendly steer butchered I always make sure we have plenty of stew meat. In my opinion, it is the next best thing to a pound of ground beef when one is in a cooking frump.  Often during the holiday season I find myself in such a frump.  I can easily plan for the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Years meal but can't seem to think of what to do for dinner tonight.  This is where stew meat & burger some in handy.
Being that it never got above 28 degrees yesterday, I decided it would be nice to turn the oven on to heat the kitchen up.  After looking through the fridge, freezer and a few cookbooks, I decided to make Beef Carbonnade.  My family loves this dish.  How could one not love this dish?  It has beef, bacon and beer in it and is a cinch to make. It was the perfect choice for a day like yesterday.  With all the snow we were getting, I knew I'd be out plowing our road serveral times.  I could make this, toss it in the oven, and pay very little attention to it.  Plus it did a great job warming the kitchen.                                                       

                                                            BEEF CARBONNADE

Cook about 1/2# of bacon in a oven proof dutch oven.  Remove bacon when crisp.  Cook up 1 to 1 1/2 # stew meat in the bacon drippings, adding a little salt and pepper, brown meat on all sides and remove from pot.  Add 1 large diced onion to drippings and cook about 10 minutes. Turn heat way down and slowly stir in 3 tbsp. of white flour, slowly stir in 1 can broth ( beef, veggie, chicken).  Then add, 3 tsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sugar, a little thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 1 can of beer. Use a light beer nothing dark.  Stir in beef & bacon and put into oven .  Cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 325 or until beef is real tender.  Occasionally check your pot and give everything a good stir.  Discard bay leaf.  Serve over hot cooked egg noodles.

Beef, Bacon, Beer.  Yum.  The fourth B of the meal was Brownies.  Just your basic box mix but oh they were sooooo good!  After all the turkey we had been eating, all of us were happy to sink our teeth into some beef.  Unfortunately, there are no left overs for me to enjoy for lunch today.  I take that as a good sign and a comliment as well.  Guess it is turkey soup for me!  Even the brownies are gone, yep the kids hit those hard.

The kids are bringing friends home for the weekend.  I always love it when the house is filled with kids.  Often they will help me cook or just take over the kitchen completely, well Titus and his friends will.  Laurel and her friends get as far as making the cookie dough then they are bored.  Hum......go figure.  This weekend one of our guests is vegan.  This is always a little tough for me.  Vegetarian is easy, but vegan makes things a little harder.  The kids seem to have a lot of vegetarian friends, guess it comes with the territory (they go to school in Ashland).  Today I will  pull out my vegetarian/vegan cookbooks and get to work.  I already have a few yummy ideas.  Around here we seem to do a lot more vegetarain meals in the summer. Normally, I try to do at least 1 a week but that doesn't alway happen.  So, this weekend will be a weekend of very healthy living.   My sister recently sent me a recipe for vegan chocolate mousse.   I'm going to try that tomorrow.  Bye bye bacon, bye bye beef, bye bye boxed brownies.  The beer can stay!

1 comment:

  1. My friend Becky was wondering if this could be done with elk or venison as well. I have never tried it but don't see why not. I bet it would be good. B-if you do let me know how it turned out!