Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for October, 2011

Thank You Gordon Ramsay. The Beef Casserole Rocked!

I Can’t help myself!

My guilty pleasure is Hell’s kitchen.

Being a foodie with a son who chefs also has me scouring Gordon Ramsay‘s recipe books.

Currently I am working through the recipes in his fabulous book,

“Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare”

Every recipe I have made from  lamb cassoulet to salmon seviche has not only turned out tasting amazingly yummy but has been pretty darn easy to make.

I have to give cudos to the f-bomb dropping kitchen nightmare Gordon Ramsay.

He is all that and then some.

Beef Casserole:

Ingredients:

 Ingredients:

BEEF CASSEROLE

This casserole is the perfect winter warmer. Braising beef is slowly cooked with herbs and vegetables in red wine, which gives the stew a depth of color and a wonderful rich flavor.

1 3/4lb (800g) braising beef
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil, for cooking
7oz (200g) smoked bacon, cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 small celeriac, about 1lb 9oz (700g), peeled
5oz (150g) pearl onions (or baby shallots), peeled
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
9oz (250g) crimini mushrooms, trimmed halved if large
1 tsp tomato paste
2 cups (500ml) red wine
1 1/4 cups (300ml) beef or chicken stock
handful of Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Cut the beef into bite size chunks. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the meat in the flour to coat.

Heat a little olive oil in a large cast-iron casserole over
medium heat. Sear the beef briefly in two or three batches until browned all over, then transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the bacon to the casserole and sauté gently until lightly golden, adding a little olive oil if necessary.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots and celeriac into 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes.

Tip them into the pan with
the whole onions, thyme, and bay leaves and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the mushrooms and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze.

Add the stock and bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Return the beef to the casserole and stir to immerse the meat in the liquid completely.

Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender.
Check the seasoning, then scatter the chopped parsley over the stew.


As you can see from the picture there is no scattered parsley on top of the finished dish.
I also used a regular cooking onion instead of tiny pearl onions and bumped up the quantities of carrots and celery as well as beef.
You have to make a recipe your own by adjusting the seasonings to your own tastes and using ingredients that are available to you.
Don’t be afraid to be creative as long as the basic recipe remains intact.
For instance, using stew meat is a basic part of this recipe.Exchanging that for minute steak would not work.

The wine is also a basic element. You can leave it out if you have someone on anabuse who will be eating but you would want to exchange it with grape juice and a splash of vinegar.

If you keep a kosher kitchen as I do you can exchange the bacon for smoked meat.  I used lamb.

Lastly, I left out the bay leaves simply because the supermarket didn’t have them in the generic brand.
I wasn’t going to spend $4 for a jar of bay leaves from McCormick when I only use it occasionally.
Did not miss it one bit!

The casserole was simply amazing! Wonderful on a cold snowy October day.

WHAT? Snow in October??? Holy moly!!!

I think it’s time to take one last walk in the leaves.

Winter is coming!

Luckily Hoo and gmom loves us some snow!!!

this is gmom and baby Hoo

coming to you from beautiful Baltimore.

peace out.

Let Go And Let God

Demolition of a small hut in our backyard.

It was a hard job.

Husband told me to leave it be.

But it was a fair Sunday,  and baby Hoo was sleeping.

So I took up a hammer.

Being unfamiliar with demolition I circled the hut a few times just swinging the hammer and thinking ,

“How do I do this?  How do I do anything?  I just do it.

Piece by piece.  Board by board.

Husband came home surprised to see the hut gone.

“You did that ? You couldn’t take down the hut!”

I could and I did!

It’s like my big sis taught me years ago when we got a rejection letter from a private school for one of my boys. She said,”What are you crying about, grow up, no does not mean no.”

Really?

She was right. I fought for an acceptance for my son and he went to that school.

Don’t tell me what I can’t do.

Oh but the  seismic challenges of the last few months.

A son losing his way.

A daughter walking into a relationship that was so very wrong.

The evil pain creeping from my back to my leg and settling in my foot.

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Let go and let God.

That I have learned, and this I know.

Challenges?

Get out of my f**king way.

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Son.  My beating heart.  Keep your head up.

Love and service, baby. Keep saying it.

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Pretty little girl will one day see that love knows no bounds. Only time and distance lets children scope the scene of their sad day when parent wrenched their sorry behind away from trouble.

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My personal enemy? The creeping fire.  Pain.

I will walk through it to drop to my knees so baby boy Hoo can reach me,  and I him.

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It was a fair Sunday.

The hut needed demolition.

I took up the hammer and brought the hut down.

Just let me pull nails, and crack wood.

Let me struggle under the weight of heavy wood.

This is gmom,

peace out.

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