This was another damn good, buttery, bacony, melt in your mouth delicious recipe from The French Chef Cookbook. If you have four hours to spend cooking and you have some beef stew meat, a few slabs of bacon and a bottle of red wine on hand, you should give this a whirl. I made this from the recipe on page 272 of the French Chef, mixed with the recipe on page 315 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (P. is paging through MAFC right now and had the brilliant and stunningly original idea that we should cook every recipe in the book in one year and call the blog "Marla and Priscilla and Julia"!) I cut the recipe in half, although I could have eaten leftovers a few more days, no problem. Jason cooked it the day after I did and the two of them ate the whole recipe in one or two meals. "Boys eat more than girls" is how he explained it when I was in awe at the amount they consumed. (No idea how to fix this font fuck up, if you are wondering why it is double spaced)
I woke up early on the Sunday I cooked this and decided to venture out to the Civic Center Farmer's Market, which I haven't been to in a very long time. I picked up the first asparagus of the season for $2 a bunch and that became the green vegetable side for the beef. This is the time of year where the farmer's markets are looking fairly barren, with apples, oranges, greens and not a whole lot else. This past weekend at the Alemany Market, I saw more asparagus, a few cucumbers and even strawberries! Spring is on it's way.
I changed up the recipe somewhat in that I didn't drain any of the fat because I found that there wasn't that much to drain. It never looked greasy to me and it didn't taste it either. I did not cook the onions and mushrooms separately- I just cooked everything together in the one pot. When I make this again, I'll add more wine and beef broth because I lost a little too much of my gravy. I did not have to take out the meat and vegetables and cook the sauce down, although I guess if I would have followed the recipe properly, I might have needed to. I just added a hunk of butter at the end and swirled it all up.
For the potatoes- clean, scrub, boil in salted water until tender, drain, then add much butter and sea salt. I would have sprinkled parsley over them if I'd had some (or rather if I had found the parsley in the crisper drawer) so instead I used a bit of chopped rosemary.
The asparagus was just put in the hot oven with olive oil and sea salt until it started to sizzle.
In other news...
Had this Huarache from La Palma weekend before last, and my goodness was it good. Also had a pupusa, rice and beans and cracklings with a coca cola to wash it all down. And I wonder why nothing fits quite right anymore...
Started some seeds and bought a few plants for the back stairs. I've been spending my evenings happily poring over container gardening books. There is so much to learn! So far my seedlings are looking a bit leggy and I hope it's just an awkward stage they are going through. The hailstorm today cannot be good for the plants I have outside and I will have to keep my fingers crossed. I tried to scoop out all the hail from the containers the best I could. Crazy weather- two hailstorms, then sunshine and now rain. All within the last two hours.
And the end of this week is the start of vacation. Whoopee! More than ready to have a break!