We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'm doing the cooking today and not doing Mommys of America cheap 'n easy - I am making Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon for the kids. I browned the meat, carrots and pearl onions (doubled the amount of onions because I love them) and prepped the lardons last night. Also threw in some porcinis because I hate a meat stew without them, and a couple of dashes of ground clove. I do it the French way - large chunks of meat (2 1/2" or 3" x 3" - they shrink) and large chunks of carrot. It's meant to be about the stewed meat. I used a Chianti Classico because I had a glass last night and an open bottle, but should have used a Cab I think. Why not a Burgundy, as the name says? I don't know. I used a 3-pound chuck roast instead of venison, and cut it into large hunks. I don't know why I used the pearl onions because big old onions work just as well, or better.
Then it all goes into the big new crock pot for 7 or 8 hours, adding the pearl onions near the end. Since we old folks are going out to dinner tonight with friends, I hope the kids appreciate my efforts and will leave us some leftovers. I'll have egg noodles for it. They are the best thing for beef stews.
The only real hassle with Julia's recipe is having to drain the stew and reduce the sauce instead of just ladling it out of the pot. Worth the trouble, though.
But this is a post on lardons. Or was. While catching up on the subject of lardons, I noticed this country-style French bread: Fougasse de Foix. Baked into it is Gruyere cheese, creme fraiche, and lardons. How good does that sound?
This one today isn't especially authentic but good: black beans soaked overnight or all day, then drain and discard soaking water. Boil with lots of water to cover for ten minutes and then cover and let sit for an hour. Drain off soaking water. In slow cooker w chicken broth or fresh water put beans, a ham bone or some left over pulled pork or a hunk of bacon. Anything with fat and pig. A chopped onion, chopped garlic, lots of cumin, chopped fresh jalapeño or ancho poblano pepper, chopped celery, chopped to ago or a can of chopped tomato if winter. Dont add salt til right before serving as it toughens beans. The veggies are more for flavor than major element: the black beans shd predominate w the pork flavor. Cook all day in the slow cooker while working outdoors. Serve with white rice, garnished with sour cream and chopped peppers, sweet or fiery as you please, also greens. Or you cd just have with a hunk of home made bread. Leftovers can be drained and mashed for burritos w cheese.
Ah, last night the family came over, and I made pot roast.
First, I sliced up two yellow onions and some porcinis and sauteed them in bacon fat while the roasting pan was getting hot in the oven. When they were finished, I poured them into the roasting pan in the oven and browned the roast, put it into the roaster with the onions and mushrooms, and deglazed the pan with a half cup of pinot grigrio and a quarter cup of brandy with 2 cups of vegetable stock.
I pour the liquid into the roaster and covered it.
I washed and chunked up a pound of carrots and 3 large red beets and poured a mixture of maple syrup and butter over them and added them to another roasting pan. One hour before the roast was done, I put the carrots and beets into the hob and cranked the heat to 400.
Made some mashed potatoes and gravy and served it with crusty Portuguese rolls.
Visited the tourist trap Rick's Cafe in Casablanca (lazy man's travel-cruise ship). Asked what lardons were, they replied dog. THe wife and two daughters were appalled. Had lardons before in Paris and wondered what a muslim area would call it