|A very late dinner.
||[Jun. 14th, 2009|08:55 pm]
Tonight I made The Slow-Cooker Burgundy Beef recipe from Coconut and Lime.
It took a lot longer for me to prep this than I expected, in part because I was playing with my snazzy new camera and trying to take pictures as I went along. I gave that up for a bad deal eventually, and so only did it at sporadic times.
For a variety of reasons, I changed a few things in the recipe. First, I'd just bought green garlic and red spring onions at the farmers' market, so I used those instead of standard garlic and pearl onions. I recalled (perhaps incorrectly) that pearl onions tend to be milder in flavor than larger ones, so I thought the sweeter red onion switch might be tasty. Plus, it saves this starving graduate student a few bucks!
Of course, what I didn't realize is that green garlic hasn't yet matured into cloves, so I had to estimate there too. I figured that if I ended up using more, well, I love garlic and the internet tells me that green garlic (and, my favourite, SCAPES) are much milder than mature garlic, so more is probably okay.
So, let's get down to it, shall we?
I started here, with the wine and other marinade ingredients. The wine is delicious, for the record. I had some mid-day as this was cooking (and, of course, some with dinner). It was a 2007 Philippe Colin Pinot Noir. I sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I wandered into the very awesome Marion Street Cheese Market* and explained how I didn't know anything about wine, and all my recipe called for was a "Burgundy", and the lovely lady (I believe she was the owner) steered me to this. Fabulous. Here's a slightly closer photo of the bottle, if you're interested.
Then I got out my slab o' beef and cut it down to size, then cubed it. I had a very hard time flouring the beef, and I'm not sure what I did wrong, but it came out just fine. I had a hard time browning the beef as well, but I'm sure that has to do with cooking in someone else's kitchen with someone else's tools. ETA: I forgot to mention last night that there was quite a bit of frond in the pan after the browning, so I did a quick deglaze with some of the marinade. I tried to minimize reduction, though, since I wasn't sure how much liquid was definitely needed.
Early on, I tried to see what I could see without opening the lid. Not much, as it turns out.
After eight hours had passed, I finally got to open the slow-cooker, and it looked mighty fine indeed.
I couldn't get tapioca (which gundy implies is a good thing), so I took her & antijen80's advice and made a roux to thicken the whole thing. That also did not turn out so well, so in the end I just reduced it on the stove top by about half. While working on the reduction & roux, I set aside the meat mixture under an aluminum tent. My aluminum tent-making skills are not so good.
Finally, I got to eat the finished product. First off, the addition of garlic scapes and greens was wonderful. The greens in particular became more edible and super tasty. I also love the peaking out of the red onions here. The flashes of purple bring some colour to a dish that desperately needs it. Also, they taste great beyond description. I love the sweet kick with the light onion flavor. I suspect mature red onions would still be tasty, but not as tasty, since I think they are less mellow/sweet.
I should have cooked the beef longer, I think. It was good, and falling apart on my fork, but not without resistance. I know for next time. It was, however, very flavourful.
The mushrooms are a big disappointment. Kind of boring, which is crazy considering the flavor going on around them. I wonder if there's just not enough of the original marinade or if they should be marinated in a different style to perk them up some.
All in all, this recipe is a keeper. And I'll update tomorrow afternoon on how the leftovers are, since I'm clearly taking some for lunch.
The rice is almost done. Which is better than previous efforts of "not at all done" as of late or "burned" as of a few years ago. But that's got little to do with this recipe. Still, it was tasty and worked well with the beef.
All in all, I'm glad houdini_cs talked me into entering this contest, since he couldn't. I'd never even heard about this blog before he mentioned it, and I think it's going into the regular reading.
*gundy, I figured you'd want to know that not only did we miss out by not going to the cheese place for breakfast, we're not the first people to mention to the woman who helped me that "Valerie" is mean and/or creepy...