Sauce

Boeuf Bourguignon

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Move over Julia Child! Just kidding, the woman was an amazing chef who’s recipe was the inspiration for this meal.

Let me begin with the fact that I have never eaten beef and enjoyed it, that is until I made this gem of a meal. This whole endeavor began after my hubby came along on a grocery trip with me, you may think ‘big deal’? Well it is, he never does the groceries with me so it was a very nice change. Like almost every man out there, my husband loves beef and just because I do not eat beef does not mean I deprive my man of his carnivorous cravings. However, most of his beef consumption occurs in the warmer months when he can slap a huge plate sized t-bone steak on the grill leaving very little room for sides once it is on the plate. So as we walked through the meat aisle I saw some lovely looking cubes of steak that would be perfect for a stew. I held up the steak and said the magical words….”Boeuf Bourguignon?” his eyes lit up and with a huge smile said “YUP!” How could I resist that?

I knew my evening was set, I would attempt a complex French dish that I may or may not even enjoy in the end. I read several versions of this recipe all over the web and all of them were extremely complicated and at times hard to follow. I gave up and just winged it using similar techniques I use for my Coq Au Vin recipe. After hours in the kitchen I nervously watched my husband take his first bite…as I watched a huge smile come across his face I knew I had a winner! So I sat down next to him and tried my first bite…the beef melted away in my mouth and the flavorful and rich sauce seemed to almost hug me. I can eat beef like this everyday! Now to the recipe…I will try to arrange it as easily as possible below. All together you will require about 4 ½ Hours.

What you will need for a complete dish:

  • 3 Lbs Beef (cubed and preferably with some nice marbleizing)
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp each of Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Slices of Thick Bacon
  • 20-25 White Pearl Onions
  • 5 Medium Carrots (sliced)
  • 10 Crimini Mushrooms (cut into ¼” slices)
  • 2 Celery Sticks (sliced)
  • 15 Small Red Nugget Potatoes (quartered)
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 ½ Cups Beef Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups Red Wine (full bodied is preferable, I used a Burgundy

How To:

  1. Place your beef into a large bowl, pour in the 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper and the leaves from 2 Sprigs of Thyme. Mix together and let it sit for an hour.
  2. While the meat is marinating, cut up your bacon and cook it in a large pan on medium heat. Once the bacon is crispy remove it leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Prep your veggies:

  1. Clean and slice up the celery, carrots and mushrooms and set aside in a bowl together.
  2. Peel the onions cutting off the ends and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Peel and quarter your potatoes and set aside in a bowl filled with cold water (this will prevent them from turning brown)

Begin the Cooking:

  1. Place the ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish.
  2. Dry your marinated meat with a paper towel then dredge in the flour.
  3. Heat up the bacon fat and add 2 Tbsp of butter.
  4. Once the fat is hot place your meat in and begin browning it on all sides. Approx. 10 minutes. (do not crowd the meat or it will not brown properly, I did mine in 2 batches)
  5. Once all the meat is browned set it aside in a bowl.
  6. Using the left over fat in the pan toss in your onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes to allow the veggies to soften. Set the pan aside.

Prep your Liquids & Continue Cooking:

  1. Take out a large cast iron pot or an oven & stove top safe dish with a lid.
  2. Combine the 2 ½ cups beef broth with tomato paste and garlic in a large container.
  3. Set the 2 cups of wine on the side.
  4. On high heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in the pot and toss in the browned meat, Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  6. De-glaze the pot with 1 ½ cups of the beef broth and tomato paste mix saving the rest of the broth mix for later. Toss in 2 Sprigs of thyme into the pot and add the wine. Bring everything to a boil.
  7. Cover and place into the oven.
  8. Cook for 1 ½ Hours. Check on it after an hour and you can stir it to prevent it from sticking to the sides.
  9. After time is up, remove and stir the contents. Add in the sautéed veggies, quartered potatoes and the rest of the broth and tomato mix. Stir to combine.
  10. Place back into the oven and cook for another 1 ½ Hours.

If the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork after this time then serve and enjoy, if not, pace back into the oven for 10 – 15 more minutes.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂

Rustic Venison Meat Sauce on Tagliatelle

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A few months ago at my husband’s Beer Tasting Birthday Party  one of our friends who happens to be an avid hunter put something in our freezer. The next morning while looking for hash browns in our freezer I stumbled upon a random tube of meat labeled “Wild Game”. I asked my husband where it came from and after a quick call we found out his friend had brought it over as a gift and that it was in fact ground venison. It has taken me until now to make a dish with this gift.

This meal came out of a craving for pasta, however, I wanted it to match the type of meat more so I opted for more rustic ingredients to make it more hearty tasting than your standard tomato sauce. The outcome was absolutely delicious and a great change from heavy pasta dishes that leave you belly up on the couch recuperating for half an hour after your meal. This is a wonderful rustic style sauce that can be served with noodles like I did, with rice or even just on it’s own as a stew or sorts. If you choose to serve just the sauce on its own this is also a great paleo dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound Ground Venison (Bison or another type of lean meat would work too)
  • 2 Springs Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 4 Springs Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 a Sweet White Onion (Chopped)
  • 4 Celery Sticks (Chopped)
  • 3 Medium Carrots (Chopped)
  • 1 Can Stewed Diced Tomatoes (I used unsalted)
  • 8 Crimini Mushrooms (Chopped)
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth (I used No MSG)
  • 1 Large Organic Garlic Clove (Minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Pepper
  • Seasoning Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup Dry Red Wine (I used a Merlot)
  • Tagliatelle Egg Noodles

How To:

  1. In a large pot heat up your oil then toss in your onions. Cook them until they are turning golden then toss in your garlic.
  2. Once the onions and garlic are golden toss in your meat and break it up so it doesn’t clump. Add your broth and bring to a boil (this will help break the meat up)
  3. Add in the seasonings, fresh rosemary and thyme. Cook and mix together for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove excess juice from the can of tomatoes then add your carrots, celery and tomatoes into the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add in your wine and mushrooms and mix everything together.
  6. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes – 1 hour to allow the wine to cook off and to allow the flavors to combine.
  7. While your sauce is cooking make your noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a bit of oil and salt into the water. Put in your noodles and cook for about 10 minutes. This will give you al dente noodles. Strain them from the water and run cold water over them to prevent them from sticking.
  8. Once your sauce is done serve over the noodles.*Optional* You can garnish your dish with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese like I did.

Enjoy 🙂

Whiskey Pulled Pork Sliders for Beer Tasting

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This past weekend we threw a Beer Tasting Bash at our house to celebrate my husbands birthday. This was just one of the dishes I served up for the spread of snacks to enjoy. I served it with my No Mayo Coleslaw and garlic dill pickles but you can choose to pair it with whatever fixings you like most. This dish you will need to start the night before but after that there is really no work involved aside from assembling your slider, the slow cooker will do the rest.

For your Sauce:

  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Cups of Hickory BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar)
  • 2 Tsp Beef Broth (No MSG)
  • 3 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 3 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Shots Whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 3 Minced Garlic Cloves

Yes, there is a lot in there but it makes for one heck of a sauce. All you do is the following:

  1. Mix all of the above in a bowl and store overnight.
  2. In the morning take out your slow cooker, add 2 ladles of this sauce on the bottom, place your Pork Tenderloin inside (I used 2 1/2 Lbs) then pour the rest of the sauce over the meat.
  3. Cook on Low heat for 9 Hours.
  4. At the 9 hour mark take out your pork and cut it up into small pieces. Then place it back into the slow cooker and mix with the sauce.
  5. The pork will absorb most of the sauce so feel free to add in more BBQ sauce into the cooker.

Below are some of the photos of the decor at the Beer Tasting.

While I made most of the signs and food tags myself using chalkboard paper and chalk I found some lovely Free Printables on the web.

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Tipsy Lobster and Scallops in a Gin and Tarragon Sauce

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Last nights culinary experiment was a touch of gourmet with a hint of Paleo. I gotta say it turned out pretty tasty 🙂

I had a bunch of frozen lobster meat in our freezer from a while ago when I was going to attempt a lobster bisque. Life got in the way and the soup was never made but I wasn’t about to let that go to waste! So I got to thinking of dinner options I could make with this lobster and a pack of scallops I had recently bought. I wanted something not too heavy or creamy since scallops and lobster are already rich in themselves. What I had in my fridge was fresh tarragon, garlic, shallots and oh ya! GIN! So I decided to try and make all that work together.

I have to say the combination of flavors was simply delightful with just the right amount of richness. And best of all it was easy and quick to make 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pack of Scallops (mine had 25 pcs)
  • 1/2 Lbs Lobster Meat (cubed)
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Tarragon (finely chopped)
  • 1 Handful of Italian Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 4 Shots of Gin
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine (I used a chardonnay)
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne
  • Seasoning Salt and White Pepper to taste

How To:

1) In a large saute pan heated to high, melt 3 Tbsp of butter and add in your scallops and lobster. Let the meat brown (8-10 mins)

2) De-glaze the pan with 2 shots of Gin and some lemon juice. (I used 1/4 of the lemon) Season the meat with the garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper and let it cook for 1-2 more minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off. Set the meat aside on a platter or plate once it is done.

For the Sauce:

1) In the same pan, heat the rest of the butter and brown your shallots. Add in the garlic, tarragon and parsley followed by the 1/4 cup of water. Bring it to a boil then add your Gin and Wine. Bring it up to a boil again and let the alcohol cook off (approx 5 mins)

2) Add in the rest of the lemon juice and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

3) Add in your cooked seafood and coat the meat.

Serve and Enjoy 🙂

I served ours up on a bed of cooked spaghetti squash to keep it Paleo and it went very nicely with the tastes.