Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beef Bourguignon

Today is my first day home from Tulsa, which I am very happy about. It is good to be home.

First a quick update about my eating plan progress. When I weighed this morning, on a different scale becuase I'm home, but one I know is accurate because it matches my doctor's office scale, I was down another 4 lbs, with jeans on. This means that I am two pounds ahead of schedule overall and on-track to get to the weight I want by my birthday in December.

I am in the process of moving from my little apartment to a larger apartment, which will give Marlo and I more space and the ability to co-exist more peacefully (I hope). I have a week before school starts up again - for my last quarter of law school - so I started today out at 5:30 a.m., already hitting the ground running and trying to get everything done before then.

I drove Marlo to work this morning at 8:00, then spent a hour with my parents before heading to Trader Joe's for grocery shopping to restock the house. I think if I am ever looking at moving anywhere, the deciding factor will be whether there is a Trader Joe's close by. Not only do I like shopping there - the fact that they cater to a particular type of clientele is probably a good indicator of whether I will like the place. Obviously, Tulsa doens't have a Trader Joe's.

I got back home around 11:30 and began cleaning. Once Marlo got home from work with my dad at 1:30, I made lunch, which was my take on Subway's Italian BMT (but way better). I made it with Rosemary Diamante bread, with avocado mashed onto one slice and a French mustard called Savora on the other. (You can't buy Savora anywhere in the states - I brought two jars back with me from France last year and am hoping the second jar lasts until next Spring when I return. It is very good - Marlo absolutely loves it too.) Then, on the sandwich we added Genoa salami, Sopresetta, and Mortadella, along with red, yellow and orange peppers, thinly sliced red onion, shredded basil and tomato for me and jalepenos for Marlo. Topped with very thin slices of Asiago cheese. It was great. Even my dad who started out my telling me, "No, I'm not hungry enough for lunch," saw Marlo's sandwich and said, "Gimme a slice of that." :)

Then, after lunch I began cooking tonight's dinner, which was Beef Burgundy, made in my new red Le Creuset pot. (I'll update the post with pictures from Marlo's camera tomorrow.)

First, I browned and allowed the fat to render from 4 oz. of thick-sliced, diced bacon. I removed the bacon with a slotted spoon. I had salted and peppered one-inch chunks of chuck steak and then dreged them in flour. I browned the meat in the bacon fat in the dutch oven on the stovetop in small batches. Once the meat was browned, I sauted until translucent one medium onion, one carrot and one stalk of celery (mirrepoix) all diced. After that, I added two cups of burgundy wine and deglazed the pan. After that, I added three cups of beef stock, tarragon, chopped garlic, salt and pepper, a bay leaf. I returned the meat to the pot and brought it to to a boil. Then, I put the lid on the pot and put it in to a 350 degree oven. After an hour, I added halfed red potatos and chunks of carrots. An hour after that, I tested the meat to make sure it was tender and then added a bunch (sorry - didn't measure) of small white button mushrooms. I let it cook for another 1/2 hour. In a separate bowl, I mixed two tablespoons of butter with three tablespoons of flour. I then spooned some of the juice from the pot into the bowl and mixed until smooth, adding additional liquid as necessary. I mized the flour mixture back into the full pot and brought to a simmer for 10 minutes. I served it with sliced baguette.

Oh my gosh - it was INSANELY GOOD. I don't think I have ever made anything this good in my entire life. Marlo loved it. I have some leftovers in my fridge for Dad to take back to Mom tommorrow since they are the ones who gave me the meat for the dish in the first place. Next time though, I am freezing the leftovers for sure so I can take them to school on a cold fall or winter day.

Nummy, nummy, nummy.

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