Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sunday Stewing

I love Sundays. There is something special about them. Growing up, Sunday was a family day.  We would spend the day relaxing and finish it off with a big dinner. Now that I am grown, Sunday is especially important. During the week it is difficult between work and the kids’ activities to sit down as a family and eat together- although we do manage it two or three times a week. But every Sunday, we sit down and enjoy a big dinner.

I love cooking Sunday dinner. I have the day off to spend planning and making something memorable. I love French food, not the fancy food you get at some lavish restaurant, but the French home cooking- Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, Bouillabaisse, Quiche… you get the drift. The French have a way of not only enjoying eating, but also relishing in the process of making meals. Maybe it is the French in me, but I put love into cooking Sunday dinner.  I show my family my devotion to them by the time and effort that I put into the meal.  This Sunday I decided, with the snow, a nice beef stew would be ideal; having the aroma fill the house. It also gave me a chance to pull out my Le Creuset. 

Here is my easy take on a French Beef Stew

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
3lbs Cubed Chuck Roast (1 inch pieces)
3 Carrots
1 Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
5 Sprigs of Thyme
1 Bottle of Red Wine (the drier the better, I like a Bordeaux)
3 Cups of water
1 6 Oz can of tomato paste (a good thickener that avoids the need for flour.)

Brown beef in in pot with oil. Once brown, remove from pan and add onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until they are tender. Then add beef back in with remaining ingredients. (I throw the sprigs of thyme right in; as it cooks, the leaves fall off, you just need to remove the stems before serving) Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover. Simmer for 2 ½-3 hours. 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, bring back to a boil until the broth thickens.  I like to serve the stew over mashed potatoes.

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