Sounds Funny, Tastes Delicious

I occasionally find myself watching episodes of Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners. She made a French dish called Daube a la Provençale (served with a swiss cheese macaronade). *Note: You need to plan ahead and marinate the beef for at least 6 hours. My mom and dad had an anniversary coming up, and I couldn’t resist making this dish. They traveled to France last year and fell in love with the country. I was hoping that this would remind them of their travels. All the ingredients go in a dutch oven and are cooked slowly for a long period of time. There weren’t any leftovers, so that should be a testament to how it turned out.

Daube a la Provençale

Materials:

  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 4 stems fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve over Macaronade, see recipe below

Procedure:

Marinate the beef in the red wine, vinegar, carrots and 1/2 of the onions for 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the beef from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and dry gently with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the bacon lardons until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside, reserving the fat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the bacon fat in the Dutch oven and brown the beef on all sides.

Once the beef is browned, add in the reserved marinade, bacon lardons, the remaining onions, rosemary, thyme, garlic and bay leaves. Add 2 cups water and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and cook in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. Check the daube every hour and add a little more water if needed. Remove the herbs and serve the daube (reserve 1/2 C of sauce if making the macaronade) with the Macaronade.

Macaronade:

Materials:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese (I used swiss)
  • 1/2 cup sauce from Daube a la Provencale
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a gratin dish.

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package’s instructions for al dente. Drain and toss with the cheese and daube sauce. Place the pasta in the gratin dish, and top with the breadcrumbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with the butter. Bake 15 minutes and serve with the daube.

Observations/Analysis: I think the recipe and pictures speak for themselves. I never was able to capture a picture of the Daube on top of the Macaronade. It smelled so amazing in my house that I couldn’t resist eating right away. There weren’t any leftovers and I plan on making this again soon! It was inexpensive and extremely easy. The cooking time is lengthy, but there isn’t much hands on prep/cook time. I highly recommend to anyone having a dinner party, or a quiet meal at home. It was a big hit!

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Sweet and Spicy Meatloaf

This recipe comes from my best friend’s father.  He made this dish all the time when we were growing up.  I would either be invited for dinner, or I would receive leftovers. Hands down, this is the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever eaten.  The sauce is added to the meat and then layered on top to make it incredibly juicy and full of flavor.

Materials:

  • 2 lbs. ground sirloin (or your own special meat combo)
  • 1 bottle chili sauce
  • 4 generous Tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder (can add more if you like spicy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 handfuls (about a cup) of breadcrumbs plus more if needed (3 cups panko bread crumbs plus more if needed)

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Grilled Flank Steak with Spicy Corn Relish

Benhart Farms, a local family farm that sells only what they raise, was at the farmer’s market near my house.  They sell chicken, pork, beef and eggs (all hormone free).  Our neighbors had us over for dinner, and we had some of the steak from this farm.  I’m not sure what the cut was, but I know it was very delicious.  I bought a pound of flank steak for a recipe I had seen with a spicy corn relish. The recipe is from Claire Robinson’s 5 Ingredient Fix cookbook.  I have become very fond of her style of cooking over the years.  Her idea of cooking is simple, yet still restaurant quality.  This recipe was just that, and more.  For a teacher and a coach that is currently in graduate school…this cookbook is starting to become my best friend.

Materials:

  • 3 fresh large sweet corn cobs, husks and silk removed
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 pounds flank steak (Flank steak usually comes in 1 lb., which is what I used)

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