|Food Fit for a Cold Winter Day|
What a wonderfully diverting day I had in my kitchen! I cooked “My Go-To Beef Daube”, a delicious beef stew which will hopefully balance out the coldest day of the year here in AZ. It may actually freeze tonight, which concerns me greatly as we have many citrus trees and our garden is abounding with lovely vegetables and fresh herbs that most of the country grows during the summer months. We have not had a freeze for the past 5 or 6 years, so I guess we are due. But so early in the year...usually if it does not get this cold it waits until the end of December or into January. As I write this afternoon the temperature is 54^. I can remember many times enjoying a swim in the pool over the Thanksgiving weekend, but not this year.
|A few cut up strips of Bacon frying until brown|
|Saute the beef in small batches until browned|
|The Cubed Beef|
|The browned beef added to the browned bacon|
|After removing the meat, mushrooms and leeks were sauteed in a little fat|
|Then Added Sweet and Russet Potatoes, Scallions, Celery, Carrots...and Decided to make 2 pots|
Tomorrow is our neighborhood ladies’ Christmas dinner where I will remake the potatoes gratin as my assigned dish. It will be a wonderful event to ring in the Christmas Season, and I will enjoy treating my friends to Dorie’s wonderful recipe. Since I’ll be at my party, Hubby is planning his own event, a men’s dinner with six of his friends. I thought I would make the stew for them to enjoy as part of their feast. Tomorrow I’ll make dinner rolls for the men, and Hubby can figure out his own dessert...he actually makes terrific chocolate chips cookies, and he buys great frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors...by the quart...so I think he will be OK. (If I get ambitious, I will make the suggested spaetzle to accompany the stew as I have not made that in a few years.... it sounds good to me!)
|Getting the Fresh Herbs Packet ready...Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme. What a Lovely Bouquet!|
Listening to Christmas music in the background, eating leftover Thanksgiving pie, and cooking the stew has been relaxing. The smells, the colors, and the art of chopping all those ingredients has been a great way to unwind after a very busy weekend...all that eating and shopping and cooking and entertaining and baking...oh my! And, it’s time for something besides turkey and trimmings; we’ve eaten it 5 or 6 times already over the past few days.
|Ready for the Oven|
We don’t use alcohol in our house. Instead of the brandy and wine I added a good beef stock. The color is rich and the aroma is fabulous, and all my veges looked quite happy simmering away in the pot...actually two large pots. I had to make enough to have a taste myself, I’m sure at least one son-in-law is stopping by later, and when he smells what has been cooking, he will also consume a bowl, and I will need enough for Hubby and his men friends. And, I was motivated to use all those wonderful refrigerator items that won’t keep forever
|Just Out of the Oven and Ready to Eat|
Note: A few days later...My neighborhood ladies' Christmas dinner party was wonderful! There were 90something of us who attended. Three of us made Potatoes Gratin as our assigned dish. My Dorie version was devoured and people were looking for more...the gratin was a hit and was practically perfect if I can brag just a little! Thanks, Dorie, for a great recipe that my family and friends enjoy. (Hubby's party also consumed a large baking dish of these potatoes and they also loved them.) We give this recipe a "Thumbs-Up!"