Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cure your holiday blues!

After attending a fabulous Christmas party, the husband and I left the cold temperatures of the North and returned to a surprisingly chilly South.  Adding to our week of gray weather were deadlines, finals and the inevitable commitments of the holiday season; it was not long before we resembled the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  Determined to elevate my mood, I flipped through Dorie Greenspan's Around my French Table and quickly added her Beef Daube to our weekly menu.  After minimal prep and the lovely stress release of using a cleaver, I slid a bubbling pot of goodness into the oven certain that I had found the cure to holiday funk.  Perhaps it was the memories of my grandmother's beef stew that elevated my mood, or, perhaps it was the two and half hours of braising time that I spent sipping red wine, flipping through holiday photo books and listening to the wonderful yet horrid sounds of the season offered by AT&T U Verse. 

Isn't it fantastic when you have a good meal and a life lesson all at once? After cooking this beef in the recommended Central Region Syrah, I may have discovered why my beef stews and stracottos have  been mediocre; I always cooked them in a Cabernet.  The light taste of Syrah combined with the onions and shallots softened in bacon grease were the makings of a beautiful broth with a deep and smoky flavor.  After devouring my bowl and sopping up the broth with a fresh piece of bread I sat back full of both good food and a Christmas spirit.  
All in all, this dish requires the effort of a crock pot meal yet gives the bragging rights of French cuisine.  Feeling the holiday stress?  I invite you to slide your own beef daube into the oven. What better way to let your heart be light.

*For the Beef Daube and other fantastic recipes, purchase a copy of Around my French Table available via My Loves on Amazon.  Visit French Fridays with Dorie and read what other members cooked up this week.



6 comments:

  1. Loved the line about bragging rights!

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  2. Thanks for the Cabernet tip. I never know what wine to choose when cooking. I usually pick something cheapish that I'd also enjoy drinking.

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  3. This looks fantastic! Glad it turned out so well.

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  4. Nice post. I agree on the wine (made it last night to post next week, with a Kendall Jackson Syrah...and it was terrific!) So glad this lifted your "Charlie Brown" christmas tree status!

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  5. I'll take some of that right now - it looks so good. And some bread to sop it up - isn't that the best part? I'm glad it put you in the holiday spirit!

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  6. I'm making this tomorrow - it looks SO good!

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