What a time of year the fall offers. Warm, cool, damp, cold, bone chilling.
A time to hunker down with a stew, home-made soup, baked beans, mac&cheese, home-made bread, pies, baked, stew, pureéd root veggies, etc.
Bone sticking flavor, . . . the season of comfort food.
We are fortunate this week to see the local grocer, Riley's Valu-mart, offer prime-ribs of beef for an unbelievable price per pound. Almost read as a misprint.
Lesser than stewing beef.
So, we wait, and we jump at the opportunity!
Our in house baker prepares a bread. And she prepares a perfect bread for gravey dippin'. I scour the local grocer for a 10-pound prime-rib. I request the ribs be removed, and then tied to the bottom of the roast. A bag of those large, year old cooking carrots. A turnip. Celery with a leafy top (celery leaves are a great herb in stews and soups). Shallots (real shallots). Mushrooms. And potatoes, to boil separately.
At 10 a.m. I slice the prime-rib in half. Five pounds each. I slice one of the halfs into one-and-a-half inch steaks. Then chunk that into 5 pieces each. Tossed in a bit of flour, then steak spice, I leave it on the counter for a few hours.
The crousset is on the stove top, a few tablespoons of heavy olive oil, and BARELY brown the beef. Deglaze the pot with a generous splash of red wine and high heat. Add some home-made au jus (4-cups), the turnips and the carrots and place in a 170º oven at 11 a.m.
At 1:30 p.m. add the celery, salt and pepper to taste, the mushrooms and the onions. Increase the heat to 180º.
At 3:30 p.m. taste, taste again, and then increase the heat to 218º - and taste again.
At 5:30 p.m. put the 3/4" potato pieces on to boil. As soon as the water boils time it for 6-7 minutes, top removed. Drain, add cold water, drain again and add cold water again with another drain. Toss in a chunk of butter, salt and pepper and some chopped parsley.
Place two(?) plates in the oven. Slice a few pieces of just-warm-out-of-the-oven bread, butter them, then place them on the plates (in the oven).
Turn up the favorite supper music.
Remove plates and stew. Ladle stew onto plates, add potatoes, ladle additonal gravy over all. Fill a robust wine glass two-thirds full of a decent French Bordeaux - and you too will experience heaven.
Ya just gotta love the fall!!!!