Beef Stew (of a sort)

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Last Sunday I was finally feeling better and had a craving for the Pork Marco Polo at the French restaurant down the street. We had not been there in a while because we didn’t like the most recent waiter. He took rude and dismissive to a new level, so we tended to go elsewhere. But I had a craving and Bob indulged me. Much to our surprise and delight, that waiter was no longer there and the manager was A) serving and B) hiring a new waitress while we were there. Happy day, I can go back to the French place (realize, when we first moved here we went once a month to every six weeks we liked it so much. But then the waiter we adored left and the new guy came in and we just stopped going).

That is a long intro to what I made today – a combination between Beef Stew and Beef bourguignon. I wanted the deep beef stew taste with the wonderful sauce of the French version. And since I read a bunch of recipes and then made it up as I went along, here is what I think I did …

Chop a few slices of bacon and fry it in the pan. Add a chopped onion and a chopped shallot. Cook it all down, remove from pan and add the beef (strip steaks I happen to have on hand) cut into cubes and most of the fat removed. Brown the beef, then add back in the bacon, onions and shallot. Add garlic – a large clove, chopped. Add some flour and coat everything, turning frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add red wine. I used a nice Zinfandel to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the good bits that stuck to the pan. Add beef broth/stock, some tomato paste and a dash of kitchen bouquet. Add thyme (cause I still have massive amounts) and two bay leaves. Stir and let cook for about an hour to an hour and a half. Add in three chopped (large cut) carrots and cook for another half hour. … I think that was it. I put it over a little barley just to add something to it. Put it over some great roasted Jersey white sweet potatoes it would be fabulous.

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Not much else is going on this week. I have a weird stomach thing going on where if I move, I get nauseous. Sit still, no problem; walk, not so good. So we haven’t had a lot of other cooking experiments this week. But … As we were eating dinner one night, Bob assigned elements to each of the cats. We have Tigger who is the fire kitty. He has the flame color, is skittish and can pounce on something/someone with little notice, or sit on your lap and be warm comfort.

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Leia is the water cat. (this whole thing came about because she was sitting outside in a drizzle and just did not care.). She is very laid back and go-with-the-flow in nature. She is relaxing and soft.

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Gracie is air – swift, so fleet of foot you hardly notice she is there, but she is also very destructive when she wants to be (just think of the poor birds, mice and rabbits she has brought home).

That does leave Jessie as earth – the mother of all in a way. She hates having her picture taken or I’d have a new one to show off. Maybe next week.

Hope everyone is doing well…

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