Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

This year I wanted to do something other than turkey and no one much cared what I chose to cook.  I searched my recipes and came up with one for daube de boeuf photocopied from an unknown cookbook as a base.  I decided to serve it with a polenta recipe that was in the January Gourmet magazine.

Daube de Boeuf
4 1/2 lbs beef cut in chunks (I used chuck roast from grass feed beef)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 celery rib, sliced
3 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 small bunch parsley
3 imported bay leaves
several sprigs fresh thyme
1 bottle (750 ml) sturdy red wine
1/4 cup cognac (I forgot it)
olive oil
butter
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
zest and juice of 1 orange
salt and pepper
Brown beef on all sides in olive oil in heavy deep pan.  Don't crowd.  Remove from pan, add butter and when melted cook onions until translucent, add carrots and celery, and cook until soft.  Return beef to pan, add wine and herbs, orange zest and juice, cognac, salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and cook covered 3 1/2 to 4 hours until meat is tender.  Sauté mushrooms in butter and add when meat is cooked.  This is best cooked a day ahead.  Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, or noodles.

Polenta with Teleme Jack Cheese
6 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups polenta (not quick cooking)
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 lb teleme jack cheese, or 3/4 cup mascarpone and 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Stir together water, polenta, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan, then bring to a boil, covered.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until smooth and creamy, about 20 minutes.  If mixture starts to tighten and get dry, add more water (up to 1/2 cup).  Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Pull cheese into pieces and stir into polenta until incorporated.  I did not have the teleme and used mascarpone and parmesan.  The polenta stayed soft when refrigerated and reheated well.

While we were waiting for dinner Eeva cooked Karelian pastries for us to keep us from starving.  They were delicious.  I would love it if Eeva would post the recipe for us.

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