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Monday, March 5, 2012

In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

This has not been much of a winter.  I'm not complaining, but it's been a pretty wimpy winter.  There haven't been very many really cold days and there hasn't been that much snow.  Compared to what I've endured in the last nine years, this winter has been easy peasy.

Of course, I could finally be adjusting to living in a colder climate.  I remember when I first moved here from Los Angeles, I had to put on a heavy coat, hat, scarf, and gloves to take the garbage out in October.  This year, even on the coldest days, all I've worn is a sweater.  Did you hear me?  A sweater.  Maybe my blood is finally thickening up.  Or maybe, as I said, it's been a wimpy winter.

But here it is, March 5th and it's snowing.  That's just wrong in so many ways.  The bulbs are supposed to be starting to come up and spring should be in the air.  It's March.  Now, I am no expert on March, but the pictures on calendars always indicate the coming of spring so I'm going with that.  What those pretty pictures do not indicate is snow and temperatures in the low 20's.  No way, no how.

Add this to the stew at the very end.
The old timers around here (meaning anyone who has lived here longer than I have), have told me all about the giant snow storms in March and April.  Maybe so, but not on my watch.  It's March and spring should be in the air.

But alas, it is not.  At least not today.  The good news in all of this is that I have two pounds of stew meat in the freezer that I haven't gotten around to using and today seems just perfect.  And there are a couple of recipes that I haven't gotten around to trying so maybe it's meant to be.  One last blast of winter and one last pot of stew.

Recipe: Bargemen's Beef Stew
(French Slow Cooker, 2012, Michele Scicolone)


olive oil
4lbs. boneless beef chuck, well trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3T. all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large onions, thinly sliced
6 anchovy fillets
6 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2T. Dijon mustard
2T. red wine vinegar


Oil the insert of a large slow cooker. In a large bowl, toss meat with flour and salt and pepper to taste. Scatter half the onions in the slow cooker. Add half the meat. Add remaining onions and top with remaining meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat is very tender.
In a food processor or blender, chop anchovies, garlic and parsley very fine. Add mustard and vinegar and pulse until just blended.
Skim the fat off the stew. Stir in anchovy mixture. Taste for seasoning and serve.

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