Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Dinner... sort of

Remember way back when I said I was going to cook for my family? Specifically my mom & brother, two of my favorite cooks in existance? Well I did. It didn't suck. We didn't call out for pizza or sushi. The directions were a bit... vague at parts, so there was some improvising. It wasn't as gloriously delicious as I remember it being, but that might be a trick of memory or due to my own improvisation. Either way, it was a presentable and pleasant meal, so I'm going to count that as a win.

Should you decide you would like to attempt this vague recipe, I will tell you what I did, and show you pictures I took of the process. That's how this works, right? Alright then, here goes! Christmas Dinner for my immediate family was "Beef with scallion and Mushroom Sauce." Sounds fancy, right? I served it on Dec 30th, but that's when we were celebrating, so it counts as Christmas dinner. Because I said so.
The recipe from some ex-boyfriend. I really only have 2, so yes I know which one it was, I'm just not going to tell YOU. Because it doesn't matter.

The Ingredients:

1/4 lb butter
1 lb mushrooms (fresh, wiped clean & cut in half)*
1 cup chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup Burgandy (wine)
1 cup tomato puree
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2-2 lbs cooked beef, in bite-sized pieces
Melt butter in large saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often until soft.
I cheated a little bit with the mushrooms. I bought them pre-cut and just washed them and dumped them in the pan. I also used about 2 lbs because while the recipe says it feeds 6, and I was only having 6 people to feed... I'm always doubtful that there will be enough food, so I added more.

2 cups-ish of scallions--green onions, whatever. It was most of 2 bunches and what I didn't put in the pot, I tossed on the salad, so that was a win-win.

I didn't have any true Burgundy, so I used this lovely Cab Sav that my folks gave me.

Add the scallions, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, broth, wine, tomato puree, salt and pepper. I find it difficult to salt-to-taste mid-cooking, so I just put a little bit of salt (equal to the amount of pepper) and figured I could always add more later, or you know, put some on the table for other folks to salt it up as necessary.  Mix well, turn heat to low and simmer for an hour. (I did increase the amount of spices since I was increasing the amount of veggies & meat, but I don't have acutal meausurements for you because I didn't measure.)
While that's simmering, you could cook that beef that you're supposed to have cooked and in bite-sized pieces. I took some serloin, chopped it up, browned it a bit in this pan, then poured some more wine in and let it simmer a bit too. There was a lot of simmering going on.
Final step--Stir in the beef and cook until just hot through. While that was doing THAT, I boiled up some egg noodles to serve this beef stuff on, tossed the salad together, set the table (complete with FANCY bottles of salad dressing straight from the fridge!) and steamed some green beans.

So, total prep time before simmering: about 20 mins. If you do all the other dinner prep stuff while it's simmering for that hour, you can be ready to serve pretty quickly after that. I mean, if you're cooking the meat right then, it's already hot, so you're just really letting things sort of get friendly with one another, and that can take as much or as little time as you want it to.


* So some parts of the recipe, like this, are quite specific. Others (beef, cooked) are... less specific

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Looks yummy! Good job!!

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