Monday, January 11, 2010

Beef in red wine

The problem with having dinner with the Ladies once a month is that one usually goes home with loads of leftovers and there is no cooking done in the next couple of days. Nevertheless, it's going to be a busy week so I'm preparing a couple of dishes that can last me for two or three evenings.

I pulled a beef cross rib roast out of the freezer: I've had pork and chicken for the last couple of days so it's time for some change......

Beef in red wine is flavorful and tender and smells like summer in a Mediterranean country. I like to do the initial preparations in a Dutch oven and then transfer the whole kaboodle to my crockpot and forget about it for the next six hours while it simmers and fills up the house with beautiful smells. This beef will serve well with mashed potatoes.

Beef in red wine

2 strips of bacon
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 beef roast (approximately 2 lbs)
1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of water
2 cups of red wine
1 beef bouillon cube
2 bay leaves
4 slices of dried tomato (or 1 tablespoon of tomato paste)

Cut the two strips of bacon in one inch pieces and fry in a Dutch oven. When browned (but not crispy), take them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Saute the carrot, onion and garlic in the bacon fat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the vegetables are sauteed, remove them as well. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and heat until it starts to smoke a bit. Season the beef with salt, pepper and thyme, and quickly brown the roast on all sides. Add in the water and the wine, add the two bay leaves and one beef bouillon cube (or a cup of beef stock), the tomatoes and simmer for four hours, or until the beef is tender.

If you prepare the dish the day before, you'll be able to scoop most of the fat off the chilled sauce before serving it the day after. If you serve it the same day as you prepare it, you may want to ladle some of the fat off during the preparation: it will rise to the top.

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