Now that it is officially fall, and the weather has turned “cold” in California, it’s time to have stew. Last week I made Coq Au Vin, and I still had some wine left, so I thought I should continue with my French comfort food and make this lovely Beef Burgundy, Boeuf Bourguignon.
Similarly to Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguingnon is also one of those dishes that does well with tough meat, wine and long cooking time. The wine and long cooking time break down the meat so it is nice and tender. It also allows all the flavors to meld together nicely. Be prepared for this to simmer about two hours.
It is important with both dishes to get a decent red wine, not a sweet one! A nice Burgundy, Shiraz or Cabernet would do perfectly. You don’t need much, so there should be a nice glass or two for the cook, too.
Coq Au Vin is really peasant food. Originally, it was made from an old chicken, and the wine was there not so much for flavor, but the soften the old bird up. It took a long time to cook, but the flavors were wonderful, so it became very popular. Of course, Julia Child made it famous. Her version was much simpler because people could buy a young chicken at the market, and did not have to wait until old Bessie was ready to kick the bucket.
I haven’t made this dish in years, not because it is difficult to make, but because I never seem to have all the ingredients together. It is actually pretty simple to make, just takes a little time because the flavors need to marry.
I had originally intended to make Boeuf Bourguignon, but we had Shepard’s Pie last night for dinner, so I was thinking I didn’t want to have beef again so soon. So, I actually went on Facebook and asked whether I should make Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. The consensus was chicken, so I started getting the ingredients together. The only thing I did not have was pearl onions, and not because I hadn’t tried to get them at the market, they just didn’t have any, so I used a regular onion and cut it into big pieces instead.
This recipe is courtesy of Spane’s father, Douglas. When we were dating, before Spane was born, he came by and offered to fix dinner for us. He went to the store and bought everything he needed, except the spices. He knew I had myriad spices and that I would have just what he wanted.
I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was. I thought of it this weekend and made it, but I reduced the amounts for just Spane and I. Spane was hungry, he got three thighs! Actually, with a salad, or other side dishes, this could easily make enough for 12 people, if each person is allocated one chicken thigh.
I love living in Southern California. It’s not too cold, and it’s not too hot. It’s like somewhere that Goldilocks would like to live. We had a little bit of rain last night, and that gives me and excuse to make soup!
I wanted to make a healthy and hardy soup. It’s Friday, and in our house, we don’t eat meat on Fridays. We eat vegetarian or fish. Tonight, we’re going to have our Yoghurt Lentil Soup with Fish and Chips, so we’ll be a little British and a little Armenian. Why not? It’s good for you!
I have been on an Asian kick lately, so when I made fried rice last night, I had extra ginger. I also bought carrots yesterday, hey, they’re good for your eyes, right? I also have a jar almost full of sesame seeds. Sounds like Carrot Ginger Sesame Drop Cookies, yes?
Today, Spane and I are going to Mass on the Grass at our local Catholic church, Holy Family in Glendale, California. Everyone has been asked to bring a dish, whether it be a side, or dessert. Even though it is still hot, I could not resist turning on my oven for cookies.
When I was a little girl growing up in Germany, when we had Oxen Shvantz Suppe it was always a real treat. Braised with wine for hours they are tender and juicy. They are wonderful on a cold, rainy winter day.
What are ox tails, you ask? Well, they are the tail of an ox or steer which is cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces. They are very meaty and make a nice gravy, all on their own. How do you eat ox tails? You get most of the meat out with your fork, then you pick the piece up and suck all the goodness out of the bone. A bone bowl is a good thing to have on the table when you are serving ox tails.
When you go to buy ox tails, be sure and get them from a reputable butcher. The bony part should be bright white, the sinew pink, and the meat should be nice and red. I was lucky, my butcher brought out a tail and cut it there in front of me with his incredibly sharp knife. You can’t get any fresher than that.