Saturday, January 4, 2014

Warm Stew For A Cool Night

Maybe I'm the only one, but I'm happy to be past the holidays. With New Year's coming mid-week this year we've had a few days of post holiday limbo and I for one am ready for things to get back to normal.  I combed through the freezer looking to use up some packages from our meat CSA and found a nice thick chuck roast. "What could be more normal than pot roast?" I thought. Something simple, something easy, something every day.
Instead of roasting the whole piece I cut the meat into 2 1/2 inch cubes and browned the generously seasoned pieces well in hot olive oil. After removing the beef from the pan I added in two chopped onions and a couple cloves of minced garlic. After about 5 minutes I splashed in about 1/4 cup of red wine and let it reduce with the onions until the pan was almost dry. I did that 3 more times to build up flavor and then returned the meat to the pot, poured on 2 cups of red wine, added in 2 whole cloves and 1 bay leaf (I meant to add a few leaves of fresh sage and I forgot) and let the meat simmer for 2 1/2 hours while I went about other chores around the house.
When dinnertime came close I steamed some cauliflower which I mashed with a splash of milk, a tiny bit of butter and peppery sheep's milk cheese and tossed arugula with olive oil and lemon for a little bright salad on top. One pot, one bowl, starting out the new year right.

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