August 12, 2010

Frugal Beef Bourguignon

Harried Not this Recipe

This post goes out to my smart penny-pinching friend Kristen whose blog Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker is a fine read with real recipes that folks can actually eat.

As I began to contemplate a recipe for Kristen, I sat down with an ice cold coca-cola and a bag of freshly roasted peanuts a neighbor had dropped off earlier in the afternoon. Like a good neighbor, she was returning a favor bringing us a little gift from the downtown peanut shop, a favor for a little gift we had given her earlier in the morning. Don’t you just love quaint neighborhoods? As I sat cracking the nuts, munching on them and sipping the coke, I drifted back in time long ago to my hometown. I thought of the corner drug store in uptown Greenville as a matter of fact. Oh yeah, we had a drug store downtown too. And I thought of dropping a quarter in the coke machine, waiting for the bottle to drop clankingly downwards before laying my hand on the cold glass bottle, sometimes pressing it to my forehead especially on hot days like today. Then I would reach for a small bag of salted peanuts before handing the dime or so to the cashier at the make-up counter. And as I casually walked down the street, I enjoyed a sip or two of pure coke, at least a couple of inches worth, I mean, enough to make room for the peanuts. And that’s where the magic began as I would carefully pour the peanuts into the bottle, slowly walking, dodging passerby’s and trying my best to mind my manners all while spilling not one nut on the sidewalk. When completed, to my lips went the mouth of the bottle and lifting it upwards would start the combustion of sweet and salty foaminess. I know everyone has done it and when you do it wrong, well, you choke a little, come up gasping for air, coke running through your nose and you expell and cough peanuts like rapid gunfire , or at least I did.

Drinking coke from a glass and eating roasted peanuts is not the same. Maybe that’s a good thing. Another good thing is Kristen and like the memory of my childhood, she is a great story teller, much better than me, bringing to life the tales from her upbringing, that of her parents and grandparents in her weekly series, Saturday Stories. From simpler times, unhurried lifestyles, ways of dealing with things we just don’t get these days. It is just one feature I enjoy immensely.

Because Kristen comes from generations of good cooks, I knew this recipe needed to be something tasty, maybe a little fancy too. You see, for those of you who don’t know of her, her family legacy includes running a restaurant, business, a school baker, caterer, teacher and I’m not talking about the same person here. Many folks, many hats. Kristen is a mom of five and she knows how to save money but make no mistake in thinking thrifty means it has to be tasteless. Her foods are homey goodness and that is a great compliment.

'honey & cream' corn, pole beans and new potatoes
So, Kristen and everyone else, start this dish about 4 hours before you plan on eating, 3 1/2 if you're faster at prepping than me. It’s really easy to make, the most expensive part is the roast followed by the wine. The pearl onions were under a couple of bucks. Oh, and to southern down this meal I steamed up a favorite variety of corn called 'Honey & Cream' from the market in the microwave and cooked a nice pot of Fresh Green Beans & New Potatoes which is still ranking tops in people’s recipe search. Thanks everyone for the hits. Enjoy!

Frugal Beef Bourguignon
serves 8, or 4  folks twice

6 bacon slices
4 to 5 pound boneless shoulder roast, chuck or sirloin, cut into small sections
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups Burgundy, divided
1 -10.5 oz can double strength beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded & diced
2 tablespoons parsley
4 garlic pods, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed thyme leaves
1 -6 oz bag white pearl onions, peeled or canned
Large bunch of carrots, peeled & sliced
Half-pound mushrooms
    Cut the bacon in 1-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet. Remove bacon and set aside leaving the renderings in the bottom of the pan. Place bacon in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or covered deep casserole. Mix the flour with the mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Make sure all fat is trimmed from beef. Mix the meat with the flour mixture coating all pieces using all of the mixture and place in the skillet over medium high heat. Brown the meat evenly. Place meat on top of the bacon in the Dutch oven.

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    Pour 1 cup of burgundy and the broth into the skillet with the drippings and scrape any bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Pour this slight reduction over the meat.
    Add remaining ingredients except the mushrooms to the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Add the mushrooms and bake another 1/2 hour. I like to serve this over a bed of white rice.

    Note: If using canned or bottled onions, add these with the mushrooms. Do not use pickled cocktail onions.

    13 comments :

    1. Morning Drick, this is one fine Beef Bourguignon recipe! Slow is always a good thing in my estimation, in fact I have a crock pot of white beans and sausage that I just started, going to take all day to simmer down!

      Slow food....what's not to like!

      Bon appetit!
      =:~)

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    2. Wonderful meal Drick. I have to agree about Kristin's meals also...she's a marvelous cook and story teller.

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    3. Great recipe for a delicious beef bourguignon!

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    4. Hi Drick, Great story and another tasty recipe, everything sound good, thanks, Patty

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    5. Freaking. Amazing. I love this recipe almost as much as I heart you :-)

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    6. Oh well....this looks like a recipe to test my patience in the kitchen :P Love it thought with the gravy to pour over rice...mmmm. Love your story about drinking coke :D Have you tried a coke drinking competition....of course to drink the fastest and not the slowest! LOL I can compete with you :D

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    7. Yum... this is like the perfect winter or comfort meal.
      and thanks for your kind words left on my blog :)

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    8. Drick – I loved your reminiscing about the peanuts and coke and the old drugstore. Made me think back to my upbringing, although I grew up outside Philadelphia , we had tiny neighborhoods with the local drug stores where you’d get your cokes. Fun remembering!

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    9. I to love Kristen's site...and this is a fantastic dish and wonderful post. As a mom, not sure if I can comment on the peanuts and soda trick :)

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    10. Thanks, Drick. Your sweet words made my day. I love the story about the Coke and peanuts. I know I'd be one of those who'd choke as I attempted to ingest the salty sweetness.

      And your meal, well it sounds terrific.

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    11. I love this story. I remember those bottles of coke. My grandfather loved them. Can you imagine? Coke and peanuts for a dime! This recipe looks fantastic, as usual! Have a good weekend. We finally have sun in Seattle!

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    12. this sounds delicious anything with wine is my favorite you know this ones for me~

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    13. another great post, great story salty sweetness, oh I would So choke, another great recipe

      sweetlife

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