Have you ever set such lofty goals that you were setting yourself up for failure? I did just that on New Year’s Day when I got it in my head that this would be the year that I would post daily – something new and exciting from my kitchen to yours. (What was I thinking!)
That’s all well and good except for the fact that I work full-time, and as a result I’m only “cooking up a storm” on the weekends. Unless I have absolutely lost my mind, I don’t see myself preparing six or seven new dishes every weekend. At best during any given week I usually manage to try two or three new recipes – tops. (And that includes the weekend). Lofty goals and all – not very practical.
In my many decades of cooking (more than I’m willing to count) I’ve whipped up some wonderful dishes the way – long before I knew words like “blogging”. So from these less-documented suppers I shall do my best to share as many as possible. Bare with me, since some have no photographs except those I’ve managed to nab from the internet. After all, many of my recipes were tested and perfected long before there was an internet, or the need to snap pictures of our dinner. Who would have thought taking pictures of food would be a thing? I’ll try not to disappoint you, my readers, and me, the insane home cook. A few years back, I set another lofty goal – not to serve the same dish twice in a year. Yeah, that didn’t happen either – but I gave it my best shot!
The first time I made Beef Burgundy using salt pork rather than bacon, I followed the recipe and added salt to the stew early on. It was way, way too salty. Now I don’t add salt until the every end, and only after sampling the finished dish. Sometimes a little pinch of salt is need, but most of the time I forgo the salt completely. This recipe has also been “modernized” in that I now use frozen onions rather than to blanch and peel onions. Frozen is so much more convenient. If you would rather use fresh pearl or broiler onions, by all means do.
Way back when, in my prior life as a stay-at-home mom, I used the stove top method. These days, unless I’m making it on a weekend, it’s crock pot all the way. I’ve included instructions for both.
Beef Burgundy with Pear Onions and Mushrooms
1/8 lb salt pork, diced fine
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 lb lean stewing beef, cut into bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon marjoram, dried
1 teaspoon rosemary, dried
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
2 bay leaves
1½ cups red wine
1½ cups beef broth
20 pearl onions, frozen okay
1/2 lb Mushrooms, quartered
Basil or Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped for garnish
Additional Ingredients for Serving
3 lbs Mashed potatoes
**** OR ****
1 lb Wide Egg Noodle
Stove Top Method: Melt the salt pork over medium heat in a heavy Dutch oven or covered casserole. When crisp and golden, remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Add the chopped onions to the melted fat in the pan, and slowly cook them to a light golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a Ziploc bag. Add stew meat and shake well to coat meat. Empty contents of bag into skillet and brown well. (You may need to do meat in batches so as to not overcrowd pan).
Add the herbs, wine, and beef broth. Return the pork and onions to the pot and cover. Simmer for 1½ hours.
Add the pearl onions and cook for an additional 20 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 more.
Crock Pot Method: Same as stove top method. Bring everything (except mushrooms) to a nice simmer in the dutch oven, then transfer to crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Add mushrooms during last 20 minutes of cooking.
To serve with Mashed Potatoes (my favorite): Make a large pot of mashed potatoes, at least 3 pounds. Place mashed potatoes on individual plates, creating a nice well in the center of each serving and ladle stew over top.
To serve with Egg Noodles: Cook 1 lb pasta al dente. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Ladle stew over noodles and toss to blend. Add more stew as needed until all the stew has been incorporated with the pasta.
Garnish with basil or parsley and enjoy!