kruizing with kikukat

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beef Burgundy

Happy New Year!!

Hope everyone has recovered from the holiday celebrations.  I've been recovering from cooking like crazy this weekend.  For the party yesterday at AEs house, I made fried chicken, pumpkin crunch, tropical fruit bars, and kinako puffs.  There was the usual potato-spaghetti noodle salad, meat sticks and barely-cooked hibachi shrimp.  Any guesses as to who cooked the shrimp?  Why is it that some people have no fricken clue as to what properly cooked food looks like.  How can you cook shrimp on a hibachi and make it look like it was poached?  Clueless.  Then there were the others who showed up 1 or 2 hours late.  Hello?!?

I need to change gears and focus on my plans for 2012. In a few days I'll be back at work and counting down the days until spring break (actually, the postings will be out before spring break.).  I'm sure it won't arrive soon enough.  Because I'm anticipating a very busy 2012, Kikukat blog will be updated weekly (Mondays).  This will give me time to put in a little more detail about whats happening with the family, which was one of the original intentions of this blog.

Yesterday's party at AEs was in the garage/patio.  It was chilly.  I kept my Juicy on the whole time, and I saw others going to cars to get sweaters and jackets.  I wasn't worried about the pumpkin crunch spoiling because it was so cold.  In fact, the weather for most of my vacation sucked.  When it wasn't butt-clenching cold it was raining.  When it wasn't raining, it might as well have been because everything felt clammy.  The Honolulu family remarked that Hilo was a lot colder than Salt Lake.

I suppose this is normal winter weather, but I'm stuck in tropical vacation mentality where I think anywhere in Hawaii should be warm all year.  I don't enjoy being cold all the time, even when I'm indoors.  Most homes here aren't heated, and its inconvenient to make a fire every evening.  My best defense against the cold weather is to cook stick-to-the-bones food (and drink alcohol, but I'd be reported to CPS if the Ds had a glass of hooch for dinner too).  A few weeks ago, I tried a recipe for Beef Burgundy, which I found in a local cookbook.

I decided to try that recipe because I was intrigued by the salt pork in the list of ingredients.  Up to this point, my experience with salt pork was limited to Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  I had salt pork earlier in Safeway and wondered how it could be used since we're not in the Big Woods.  Out of convenience, I used the entire package, which was a bit more (but less than double) than called for in the recipe.  I didn't want to be left with a tiny piece of it.

Overall, I liked this dish.  It was a very meaty, hearty stew with a mild wine flavor.  I'm really not a big fan of beef stew, in spite of that being a staple on the majority of restaurant menus here.  If and when I do break down and eat it, I much prefer tomato-based versions to the "brown" variety.  Oddly enough, I grew up eating "brown" stew.

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Beef Burgundy

     3 lbs beef (I used boneless shortribs, but sirloin tip,
          chuck, or round steak can be used)
     10-12 oz salt pork, chopped (recipe said could
          substitute with 8 oz bacon)
     2 cloves garlic, smashed
     3/4 c red wine
     1 c hot water
     2 bay leaves
     1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
     1 onion, diced
     2 tbsp butter
     1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
     2 lbs mushrooms, cut into large pieces

Cut meat into 1 1/2" cubes.  Dredge meat in flour.  Brown salt pork and garlic.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.  Add additional oil to pan.  Brown floured beef cubes.  Add salt pork back to pan.  Add wine, water, bay leaves, and oregano.  Cover and cook for 1 hour.  Remove bay leaves.  At this point, beef and liquid can be refrigerated overnight.  Remove as much fat as possible.  In a skillet, melt butter and brown onions.  Add mushrooms and cook until liquid is released.  Add to beef.  Add tomato paste.  Season to taste.  Cook an additional hour.

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