Stracotto di Manzo: Braised beef with mushrooms and wine
My nephew Marco stayed with us for a few days…
And here’s what we did…
First night we had cream of cauliflower soup with grated jalapeño cheddar—yum! Followed by a fillet mignon dinner with a salad made with rughetta and gorgonzola and some veggie
Next day we drove to Heber and had lunch at the Spicy Lady—we went antiquing and shopping at FR’s favorite store Home Depot, then back to Heber to purchase a 9 ft fir tree—chunky and cute, but doesn’t have the personality or height of last year’s …the only thing better is this one cost $100 less than last year!
At home we watched the something or other latest Batman…I feel asleep, as you can see I was not interested in it, sorry to say. Maybe because of the tragic last appearance of Heath Leger.
Next day off to Park City and lunch at the famous (infamous) No Name Saloon, where Marco ordered a buffalo burger
Made minestrone for dinner with bruschetta.
It was basically veggies, but first I fried some minced bacon, garlic and onions for flavor in olive oil, and then added some vino–why not?
The veggies were: carrots, onion, celery, sweet potato, cauliflower, white potato, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, string-beans, which cooked in a home-made beef broth.
At the last minute I decided to toss in some tiny meatballs—men love meat! I made them lean ground fresh beef and grated cheese, seasonings and breadcrumbs—no egg.
You can also add to the soup: parsnips, Swiss chard, spinach, turnips, peas…basically whatever you like or have in the fridge will work.
Stractotto di manzo: pot roast wine and mushrooms
1 3-4 lb chuck roast dredged in seasoned flour
1 onion—chopped coarse
whole baby carrots–
celery—two stalks sliced
mushrooms—whole caps 1 lb.
1-2 cup of red wine—I used a Spanish Panarroz, it’s spicy, but a cabernet sauvignon will do nicely.
1 small yellow –fleshed potato—may use any other
1 medium sweet potato cut up
1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms
12/ lb of sliced mushrooms
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of beef broth
Soak the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water and use the stock for part of the liquid for the beef. Filter if desired. Trim any hard bits from the mushrooms.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the beef on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Add pancetta or bacon, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery, stirring, until they are golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper. May use some parsley and tomato sauce if desired. I made it without—but used a helluva lot of vino! . Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Add porcini mushrooms, mushroom liquid, and champignon mushrooms, and enough beef stock to come 2/3 up the side of the beef. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, and the tender meat should melt in your mouth. Turn the roast every 30-45 minutes or so.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid. Bring to a boil and let cook uncovered for a few minutes to further reduce and thicken the liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Slice the roast and serve with the sauce and soft polenta, rice, pasta or bruschetta.
The next day was Marco’s departure day so I sent him off, knowing he’d had Dungeness crabs—I make my own sauce of ketchup, creamed horseradish, and hot pepper—ouch!
This was followed by a dish of spaghetti with clams—the sauce was natural water kicked out by the clams, white wine, cilantro, olive oil, garlic and hot pepper.