Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday Supper Series #2 - Monday Night Edition

We went out of town this weekend and ate leftover pizza for dinner last night as we watched football, so Sunday supper turned into Monday's supper.

Menu: Polyface Farm eye of round pot roast with Beaujolais Nouveau, creamed kale au gratin, broiled potatoes, salad, rice.

It is sleeting outside, and that is as good a reason as any to open a bottle of Bordeaux. 2006 Chateau d'Arcins Haut-Medoc to be specific. Dry, dry and not what people would call a "fun" wine, but I thought it was pretty good. It is not a wine I would serve at one of our dinner parties, but it has that lingering French cellar yeast flavor that I really dig.

Just us two tonight, so I kept it simple. I actually braised two pieces of meat. The piece we didn't eat will be recycled and you'll see it later this week as beef pot pie. We were having breakfast in Hershey, PA with a friend on Sunday and she mentioned making her Mom's chicken pot pie. This gave T a hankering for pot later this week, T will get pot pie.

But back to tonight. This is my easy braise that I make over and over again, because it is consistently wonderful. I chop garlic, carrots, celery and onions - only today I had a leek, so I used a leek. Do all this chopping while the meat is browning. I threw some chopped bacon into the pot before I started browning the meat, by the way, to provide some lubrication and add flavor. When the meat is brown, add some wine to the pot. I had a bottle of raw Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 that needed to be gotten rid of, so I used that. Scrape up all the stuff at the bottom of the pan and add the vegetables once the wine is pretty much all burned off. Saute the vegetables, or mirepoix as I should call it. Add about one tablespoon of tomato paste, one teaspoon of anchovy paste and one teaspoon of soy sauce. Once the veggies are ready to go, pour in more wine (I ended up using about half a bottle) and some beef stock. I used about 1 1/2 cups. Once that is simmering, put in the beef, add salt and pepper to taste, toss in a bay leaf and some fresh thyme. Put it into a 350 degree oven and let it go for a few hours.

Come back to it every now and then and make sure all is well. You want the meat to be plastic knife tender and for the pan juices to reduce.

You might wonder what that odd light house looking thing is in the food photo above. It was one of our finds this weekend. Everywhere we go, we visit antique stores. One of these days I'll write about how the regional differences of our country are subtly reflected the in antique stores in each area/state. But not today.

There are some serious antique stores in Pennsylvania Dutch country, let me tell you. The piece in the photo is a tin lantern pieced together with random old parts. The front of the lantern is made up of a magnifying glass. This of course magnifies the light produced by the candle inside. I think it is pretty neat.

Other weekend finds were a red painted box (also in the food photo above, sitting on its head), some old lace, an old petticoat, a few old table linens that I am going to re-purpose into other things once I get the stains out of them, a piece of furniture for my sewing room (The last one! Nothing more will fit!) and presents for my Mom and T's Mom. We also got another finger lamp and railroad lantern to add to the respective collections. And as usual, MP had to suffer for our hoarding tendencies. She got wedged in between the piece of furniture and our luggage for the long ride home. Poor dog...what she must suffer for her master's whims.

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