Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Corned beef and Cabbage

If you like Corned Beef this is Killer...

You're going to need to aquire:

1 Corned Beef Briskit
Some small red Potatoes Quartered
Some cabbage cut up
Some carrots cut into chunks
Good Brown Mustard (Boetches is the best)

In a Nesco or similar slow cooker imerse a Corned Beef Briscut in water. Just enough to make it wet on top. If there is a spice packet, open it and sprinkle it in the water surrounding the meat. Cook @250 degrees in water for 4 hours. If you cook it less it will be tough. If you cook it longer it will be falling apart.

A half hour before serving time start cooking carrots and potatoes in boiling salt water. Add cabage when it's time to braise Corned Beef.

Braising takes about 10 minutes.

Remove Corned Beef from Nesco and transfer to baking sheet. Coat with Honey/mustard blend. Bake to "Glaze" the meat. I do a 10 minute Convection Roast at 400 degrees.

Serve with the potatoes and cabbage.

This is one of my :"To die for recipies"

If you try it please let me know what you think..

Most Important?

So, what is the one thing you couldn't live without in your kitchen?  Daily has come up with a list of 50.  Don't necessarily agree with them all, or even the order they're in, but its kinda fun to look at.  You can find a slideshow of their list here.

Post what you can't live without in the comments.  I've got to give it some thought before I can come up with THE one.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Grasshopper Pie!

I think I'm channeling Auntie Edie.  Remember in the '70s when she used to make this?  I absolutely LOVED it.  But I loved anything minty -- especially Creme de Menthe liquor.  Dad used to let me drink some on special occasions in a little cordial glass.  I always slept well after that.  Hmmmm, do you think that was his intent?

I found out by accident that creme de menthe and creme de cacao last forever.  I think I bought the bottles I have when we still lived on Camino Alto Street, and that was more than 10 years ago.  I tasted them and they were still good. ("Hic").

Where was I?  Oh, yeah, Grasshopper Pie.  I found this recipe on a cooking blog I check from time to time.  Pioneer Woman   I tweaked it just a little (I can't let any recipe alone).  I knew Matthew would love it, as anything chocolately and minty disappears FAST around my house.

Matthew had a ball making this with me, especially when we went to the store to buy the "grasshoppers."

Cast of Characters:

16 Oreos (plus 1 for garnish later, if you want)
2 T melted butter (REAL butter, if you please)
24 large grasshoppers (or you can substitute marshmallows)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 (+) T green creme de menthe liqueur
2 T creme de cacao liqueur
1 cup heavy cream

Throw the 16 oreos into the food processor and pulverise the ever lovin' you-know-what out of them.  (Unless you've had an especially bad day -- then put them in a baggie and use a rolling pin.  Cheaper than therapy!).  Combine them with the 2T melted butter, and press into a pie plate (Matthew did this part.  I had to wash the floor afterwards).

Heat the 2/3 cup heavy cream in a saucepan with the "grasshoppers" (or marshmallows if substituting) over low heat, stirring almost constantly, until all those little buggers are melted.  Then, plunk the pan into an ice bath to help this cool completely.  Stir it a lot to make this happen faster because you really can't wait to taste this pie.

Once its cooled, stir in the liquers.  Taste and add more if you think it needs it.  I did!

Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff.  Fold the minty grasshopper mixture into the whipped cream. 

Pour all of this lovely green creaminess into your crust.  Put it into the freezer for at least 2 hours, probably more.  (I know -- but its worth the wait!) 

Crush up that last cookie, unless you've already eaten it, and sprinkle on the top for garnish.

Note:  If you give this to the kids for bedtime snack, they will sleep very well.  I think Dad was onto something.......

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

OK, I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have time to post recipes with a lot of pictures all the time.  But, I made this today, and just HAD to share.  It made me sooooooooo happy!

Not the greatest picture, but I took it with my phone. 

This one is better:

This is an adaptation of Julia Child's recipe*.  I made a few changes to make it a little easier to make, had to skip the "pearl onions glazed in stock" because my store didn't have any pearl onions (fresh or frozen), and, needless to say, I skipped the fungus at the end.  I was fortunate in that I had just made some homemade beef stock with real oxtails earlier this week, which I reduced down.  I think that really helped with these flavors.  (I just put 3 oxtails and 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt, with some veggies that were about to expire, in my 2 quart slow cooker and cooked on low for about 9 hours.  Strained, chilled, skimmed off the fat, and reduced to a luscious, velvety stock.)

Served with real mashed potatoes, and peas and carrots.  A religious experience.

I made about 1/2 the recipe that Julia's book calls for:

For my version, you will need:

6 oz. of bacon, cut into lardons, which is a fancy name for slicing your bacon strips into tiny strips.
1 1/2 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into cubes (I used eye of round, and trimmed it well)
1 peeled and sliced carrot
1 sliced yellow onion
1 T flour
1 1/2 cups full bodied red wine (I used some really good Cabernet)
1 to 2 cups of beef stock
1Tb. tomato paste
3 cloves minced garlic (Julia says to use 1, but hey!  I'm a Koszuth!)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf

First, take your meat cubes and lay them between 2 layers of paper towels.  They must be absolutely dry in order to brown.  Oh, and preheat your oven to about 325.

In a 12-inch skillet (mine has straight sides and is about 3 inches tall), cook your bacon lardons (I just like saying that word -- makes me feel so French) until crispy.  Remove them to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but about 1 T of fat, but save the rest, you may need it.  Set your heat to medium-high.  Now, without crowding your pan, sear your meat cubes on all sides, in batches.  Add more fat if necessary.  Remove and drain on paper towels. (This recipe must be sponsored by Bounty, as it takes up a lot of paper towels.) 

If there's not about 1 T of fat left in the pan, add more.  Now, brown the carrot and onion in the same pan.  Once they're brown, add the bacon and beef back in and sprinkle on the flour.  Stir well to coat, and cook the flour for about 4 - 5 minutes.  Add more fat if the flour isn't absorbed. 

Stir in the wine, stock, garlic, S&P, thyme and tomato paste.  There should be enough liquid to JUST cover the beef.  If not, you can add more stock or plain water.  Check at this point to see if it needs more S&P.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and put into your oven for about 3 hours.  Check the heat from time to time.  Things should be just barely simmering.  I ended up turning my oven down to about 275. 

At this point, I think the stew is done, but Julia goes through this whole process of straining and reducing the sauce, adding pearl onions and fungus, etc.  You can look up her recipe if you want all that hassle (sorry Julia!), but I think its great right now.

Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes, or buttered noodles, and something green.  Julia says peas.  I also would serve it with something red, like a nice glass of Cabernet. 


*From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, p. 315.