Recently, Whole Foods and Le Creuset co-sponsored a pre-Thanksgiving fundraiser at our Second Harvest Food Bank. For a mere $5.00 donation to Second Harvest, you got to sample quite the array of T-Day mainstays and sides, as cooked up by the Whole Foods catering department.
Tasty stuff, too–including free-range heritage bird and gravy, green bean casserole, potatoes au gratin, sour cherry and pecan pies.
And, you got a raffle ticket–for which, Le Creuset donated a 5 1/2 qt. Dutch Oven as The Prize.
The luck of the draw: I won the raffle! I couldn’t believe it. Happy, happy. I was so tickled by this, I felt like a big goofy kid. Sometimes, it’s really nice to win.
The Le Creuset store manager, Joseph, let me pick out the color. I had get the Fig. Isn’t it gorgeous? This is my second raffle win in as many years (in the spring of ‘08 I won 2 blueberry bushes in a drawing at our farmers market) so, I guess you could say that I’m on a roll…
And, I must say that this wondrous Dutch Oven came into my possession at the most timely of moments–our Third-Thursday Community Pot Luck Dinner was coming up, and I had wanted to make some winey-frenchy-stewy dish using beef rump roast I purchased from Walnut Hills Farm. The recipe is part Boeuf Bourguignon, part Boeuf à la Mode–we’ll call it Boeuf à Ma Mode..(that’s beef, my style)
The heavy enameled cast iron pot went right to work, marinating the meat overnight.
Marinade (for about 5 lbs. Beef Roast)
2 cups Red Wine
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
several sprigs fresh Thyme
Salt and Black Pepper
Mix up these ingredients and pour over the beef. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the meat at least once, after several hours.
The next day: Remove the beef from the marinade—save the marinade—and brown it well on all sides. While it’s browning, you can get your veggies ready.
Boeuf à Ma Mode
2 Shallots, chopped
2 large Onions, diced
3 ribs Celery, small dice
4 Carrots, small dice
2 Bay Leaves
2+ cups Red Wine
2+ cups Vegetable or Beef Broth
1 lb. Cremini Mushrooms, chopped
2 T. Butter
Salt and Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Dark Roux
Fresh Thyme and Rosemary
Sauté the vegetables in the browned drippings left by the meat–add a little more olive oil, if needed. These sturdy ones will go far in forming a rich flavor foundation for this stew, and will actually cook down so far —over time with the meat—as to almost disappear.
After you return the meat to the pot, pour in the wine and broth, and toss in the bay leaves.
Then, just cover, turn the heat down low, and forget about it for four hours. In the meantime, you can get your mushrooms ready.
Brown the mushrooms in butter, salt, and black pepper in a separate pot. Enhance with red wine.
When the meat is tender, remove it from the pot and cut into bite-sized pieces. (discarding any fat or gristle.)
Thicken the stock with your roux, stir in mushrooms and meat. Simmer and serve.
This rich savory stew served a lot of folks at the Third-Thursday dinner.
Delicious spooned over noodles or rice, this beautiful beef stew also makes a special, hearty meal when served with this colorful roasted winter vegetable medley. A real winner!