Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Quest for Good Un-Uppity Wine: Bliss @ $9.99 for 1.5 Liter Bottle

Terry Post:

After a really long drive over the 4th of July weekend I got back home Sunday afternoon DESPERATE for a decent meal. Other than Friday night when Brad grilled up burgers served with some of his wine, I'd existed on highway food. Ugh.

I stopped at the local market and picked up the makings for a simplified Beef Burgundy: Economy cut of beef, celery, onions, carrots, canned tomatoes, beef consomme and a 1.5 liter bottle of Gallo Family Merlot (NV).

I have made Beef Burgundy so many times I can practically do it in my sleep.

1.5 lbs of economy cut beef in 2" x 2" chunks
Two medium sized carrots sliced to irregular thickness
Two stalks of celery (peeled) and sliced to irregular thickness.
One large Spanish onion chopped coarsely
Two cloves of garlic - crushed
28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
Can of beef consomme
One cup of medium grade red wine
1/4th cup of flour
3 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs instant tapioca
1/2 tbs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

* Pat dry the beef and then coat with flour. Set aside.

* Heat the oil in a large frypan. Do not use a non-stick pan! When the oil begins to shimmer in the pan add 3 or 4 pieces of the flour-coated beef. Cook them deliberately and brown them on all four sides. As the pieces are browned, replace them with the next 3 or 4 pieces. Limiting the amount of meat in the pan allows the pan to stay hot and for you to be able to get a lovely browning on the meat. Keeping the pan really hot is the most important part! Transfer all of the browned meat into a Dutch Oven.

* Place the onions, celery and carrots into the pan in which you cooked the beef. Cover. Brown the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until they begin to get some color from the beef drippings and begin to get tender. Add 1/2 cup of wine to the vegetables and cover again. Cook covered for another 5 minutes.

* While the vegetables cook, pour the contents of the fire roasted tomato's, garlic and beef consomme on top of the beef in the Dutch Oven. Stir the Tapioca into beef, tomato and consomme mixture. Note: Tapioca is a splendid thickener and is not heat dependent as are flour and corn starch to do its magic.

* Pour the browned vegetables, including the wine and any leftover beef juices into the Dutch Oven.

* Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Cover the Dutch Oven.

* Place the Dutch Oven into a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 200 degrees and allow to simmer for 5-6 hours of beef-tenderizing, flavor-enhancing slow-cooking wonderfulness - checking hourly. Note: If the meat is not covered by the thick tomato-consomme-wine mixture, add the reserved wine and a little water until the beef is covered.

* Serve with crusty bread and the remainder of the Gallo Family Merlot.


~ Terry

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