Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beef Bourguignonne (p. 479), Sausage Gravy for biscuits (p. 547)

Sorry this is so late! I have no excuses. And there was no TJOC cooking yesterday...Monopoly started at McDonalds and I was sure this was my chance to win the million by eating chicken selects. Alas, it was not.

Well, I was definitely going to refer to the stew by it's fancy name in the title :) I suppose I could have just called it "French beef stew" but that doesn't sound near as impressive. Only make this stew if you really like wine because it is strong. But tasty! And be brief with your browning because if you brown the meat too long, it will be tough (learned this the hard way...)

This was an interesting one to cook. If you want to make it, give yourself plenty of time because it requires a marination step of up to 24 hours. During the marination, because of the red wine, the meat turns a disturbing (but pretty!) shade of purple.

Oddities in this recipe (and oddities with the person cooking it):

1. The recipe is complicated. You dice bacon, fry it in a dutch broiler, take it out. Brown the meat in batches in the bacon grease, take them out. Add the vegetables, add flour. Add everything back in. After getting splattered one to many times, I decided that I should be wearing an apron while cooking....

2. Dicing bacon. TJOC just loves you to cut difficult things...Plus it always wants you to measure in ounces. Now maybe the rest of you have little scales to know how much an ounce is. I just guess. One slice of bacon seems about an ounce. And my kitchen shears were used for the dicing...

3. It helps to know ANYTHING at all about wine. Unfortunately, I don't. And alcohol isn't sold on Sundays in Colorado. When do I typically need alcohol for cooking? Sundays, of course. The liquor stores here are gigantic to make up for this shortfall. Josh and I know absolutely zero about wine. Perhaps less than zero. I had to ask what wines fall in the "dry red" category...

4. Another one of my favorite parts of this particular says to drain the marinade off the meat (no problem) but then it says that the vegetables and the marinade should be kept separate.

Now, that isn't a problem. The problem is that the vegetables are carrots and onions...they don't exactly fall through the colander. So what was I supposed to do? I picked them out of the meat...but that was a pain in the ass. I'm sure there is a better way to do that...

Here is my picture of the real life it looked far less like a mixture of garlic beef from a take-out Chinese restaurant.

On Monday I couldn't figure out what to make. I don't want to blow our entire grocery budget in the first week of the month and I was quickly running through our food. I also wanted to be done cooking in plenty of time to watch Heroes. So what to make....Biscuits and Gravy!

Unlike chipped beef, I do have a love of biscuits and gravy. And I knew this recipe could knock out two things in the book. Gravy--and biscuits. My fear of the altitude kicked in though--I don't think I'm ready for biscuits.

The sausage gravy. First off, I'm pretty damn sure that I'm not supposed to be using Italian sausage in this, but TJOC was not specific, and Italian sausage was what I had. The recipe also said to use 8 oz of sausage. I had a pound. What was I supposed to do with the extra? So I threw it all in there.

The gravy was good, if a little overly meaty. I recommend actually following the directions on the amount of meat to also needed some cracked pepper on the top (but, hey, what doesn't??).

Coming this week:
I have no idea. I think we need to eat through some of our leftovers tonight. Any ideas?


  1. This is so awesome!! I'm really enjoying your blog! I'm curious to hear a little more on your sausage gravy. I recently attempted this to less than stellar results. I think I'm always more impatient letting the butter and flour cook than I think I am. It just had kind of a funky flavor, dunno. Kishore claimed to like it- but he sounds rather like Josh :) I think I will have to pick up this cook book now though, hehe.

  2. Thank you :)

    This recipe wasn't bad at all...although you probably shouldn't use Italian sausage. And it's probably way better with homemade biscuits than with the store bought ones we had it on...

  3. Wait a second... I am not moody, I wouldn't even know how to be. And the biscuits and gravy were awesome


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