Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogreader Spotlight

(I have a lot of blogs on my reader!) The next blog on the list is Anne's Food. I believe I discovered this blog because of my interest in all things Scandinavian (exploring my roots, etc). Anne is based in Stockholm and shares, in English, recipes, stories and reviews as well as pictures of her beautiful cats.

This past weekend, I attended the Parade of Lost Souls here in Vancouver. What a surreal experience; if you are interested in seeing some of it, just click on my flickr badge ~ I maxed out my free account, s I may take some of the pictures down at some point.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Sauce

I have no idea how I stumbled across this on The Pearl Onion ~ I must have been doing a search for chicken recipes. And I am so glad I did; this is one of the most versatile sauces I have ever made!

I made a few changes to get the flavour I wanted last night, the sauce lends itself well to endless variations. I could picture this as a vegetarian gravy, a sauce for pork and so on. Here is my take on it.


* Veg oil or clarified butter
* 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on, wing joint on ( a cut called supreme scroll down to read descrip)
* Coarse salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place an oven safe fry pan over medium high heat and lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Add chicken breasts to the pan, skin side down, and cook for 5-6 minutes until skin is lightly browned.
3. Flip chicken breasts over and move pan to oven. Cook chicken breasts through until juices run clear when pierced or youa re reasonably sure they are cooked. (My chicken breasts were normal size, free range. They were cooked in 15 minutes. My now expert touch determined they were done ~ I have cooked a million chicken breasts at Culinary Capers)

Roasted Sweet Potato Sauce

* 1 lb Sweet potato, skinned and cut into manageable pieces
* Olive oil for coating
* 1 tsp Thyme
* 2% milk (measurement will vary)
* ¼ tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil to coat, salt and pepper.
3. Roast potatoes until cooked through and a lovely brown on the outside.
4. Place cooked potatoes in the food processor with all the ingredients except milk. Gradually add milk (I also used a bit of water) until potatoes reach desired consistency.
7. Pour sauce into a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stirring frequently, heat sauce thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with food of choice...

Thank you Kristin, for the brilliant recipe!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Weekend Cat Blogging (#73)

Happy Halloween weekend to those who take part... I'm hoping to see a few costumes this weekend. Feel free to leave your links in the comment section. I had to work unexpectedly, so I will update links tonight.

Bonnie Loves Cats gets things started with some Halloween Cats looking for homes.
Chris Dolley manages to catch an action shot of the Kinky Tribble
Sam gets in touch with his inner frog at stillpoint.
The McKittens have at least ONE of their humans well trained at Music and Cats.
Mimi enjoying the scent of garlic at Restaurant Widow....Maybe trying to keep those halloween Vampires at bay?
Tiggy suspects an imposter in his home...but only for a moment or two.
Halloween comes early at Jelly Pizza.
Upsie puts our favourite pirate to shame at What Did You Eat?
Colin tries to demonstrate his special powers at The Westering Hills.
Mr. Bean takes over from a very busy Jasmine at Cardamom Addict
The hat attacks at The House of The (Mostly) Black Cats
Fridolin meditates deeply a Rosa's Yum-Yums
Some cute poses from Kate in the Kitchen.
Blur dodges the paparazzi at 7610.
No costumes, but some illicit napping at Lali et Cie, next weeks weekend cat blogging host.
Gorgeous Edith out for a stroll at Anne's Food.
Helios poses with a pumpkin at Tales from a Veggie Kitchen.
The Halloween Cat at catsynth educates us on the perils of being a cat at this time of year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Burgers and fries

I special requested homemade burgers from Rob last night. He doesn't have a recipe, but I know it involves 1/2 beef , 1/2 pork. The yam fries were also experimental ~ still trying to get a crispy yam fry without actually frying them!

I had a terrible sleep last night; I made the mistake of looking at my work list for today. I have at least six different hot times ~ this means that I have to have a complete meal for anywhere from 6-20 people ready at an allotted time. I have several soups, two different lasagna meals, a wild mushroom ravioli, Chicken cacciatore, beef borg, lemon risotto and seasonal vegetables, Beef Borg, mashed potatoes and seasonal veg, 22 pizzas and 11 pizzas. I think thats all, but I kept dreaming about it all night long. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You win some, you lose some

Last nights dinner was a loss. I made Three Bean Chili and Rob made Pepita Cornbread from October CL. The chili was rather plain and the corn bread took much longer than the recipe said to cook. Rob trusted the recipe, so it was total mush when he went to cut it. Back in the oven it went. When it was ready to eat, it too was bland ~ needed more salt. The picture I took even sucked!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lets talk Real Estate

So off topic for a food blog, but something that has been on my mind for quite a while. Where I live now, the lowest a single family home goes for is....379, 000. That's on the shady side of town, far from where I live. The cheapest, on my side of town is....729,000
Lets travel East. How about Saskatoon? Cheapest house... 28, 900
I couldn't even find a house in Saskatoon that matched the lowest price in my neighbourhood. Closest? 679,000

Fall Days

I LOVE fall. especially here in Vancouver; it reminds me why I want to live here as I start to question it in the face of astronomical housing costs.
Yesterday was a perfect fall day. After work, I came home and we had a little appetizer; a friend had taken a trip to Saltspring Island over the weekend and brought me back a puck of the freshest cheese possible.

We enjoyed it on ittle wafer crackers with a drizzle of the same friend's homemade pepper jelly (I need that recipe!).

After the snack, I convinced Rob to take a walk....

We came home to a Tuna Noodle Casserole

I know you wouldn't necessarily expect a professional cook to be making Tuna Casseroles, but on what they pay professional cooks here, sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. My recipe is once again from the Cooking Light Boards, posted by sushibones from a 1997 Eating Well issue.
Tuna Noodle Casserole

1/3 cup pine nuts
6 sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
6 oz dried wide egg noodles
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% milk
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 9-oz can white tuna in water, drained and flaked
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 Tbls finely chopped fresh parsley or basil
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread pine nuts in a shallow pan and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned; set aside.
3. Increase oven temperature to 425. Lightly oil a 3-qt baking dish or coat it with nonstick spray.
4. In a small bowl, soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5. Cook noodles in boiling salted water until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse reserved tomatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic until finely chopped.
7. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring accasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in mayonnaise, tuna, cheese, and parsley (or basil). Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
8. Gently mix reserved noodles into tuna mixture and spoon into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved pine nuts. (The casserole will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
9. Bake casserole for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

6 servings

265 calories per serving: 21 grams protein; 11 grams fat (2.6 grams saturated fat); 33 grams carbohydrate; 385 mg sodium; 55 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fiber

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogreader Spotlight

The next blog on my list is a local one; Always in The Kitchen. Roughly the same age as my blog, it it written by Dawna, who also shares occasional essays about food. Although the posts are sporadic, they always feature delicious looking recipes or musings on food. I took a jerk chicken recipe from this site a few months back that was excellent. Have a scroll through the archives and check out all the other recipes.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I pulled this recipe off the Cooking Light Boards (posted by sneezles, who I wish had a blog. I suspect she leads an interesting life), although I skipped the browning step, so it isn't true carnitas. Once I shredded the meat, I added some of the (defatted) braising liquid back to the meat, along with some splashes of hot sauce and some salt. Served it up with hard taco shells (Rob's request), shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream and more hot sauce. Absolutely delicious, tender meat and there were a TON of leftovers. Look for them to make a showing in the next few weeks.
I love that this recipe is a crockpot recipe. I know some people complain about the quality of food that crockpots can produce, but I just think they are trying to do the wrong things in it.

Crock Pot Carnitas

3 lb. pork butt roast
1 onion, sliced into rings
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and deveined, cut into strips
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, leaves only
1 can beer (12 ounces)
salt and pepper

Insert garlic cloves in roast; place in Crock Pot with onion, herbs, jalapeño peppers and cilantro which has been chopped. Season to taste. Pour in beer. Cook on high 4 to 6 hours until fork tender. Remove meat; shred. Or can be placed in roasting pan in preheated oven (450º) for about 15 minutes before shredding. Serve with warm tortillas, shreddded cheese and pico de gallo.

Weekend Cat Blogging

Aggie has been reclusive lately, but I managed to snap a shot of her in one of her favourite nighttime spots; lying on Rob's slippers.

This weeks WCB is hosted by Jelly and Kamikaze. NExt week, I will be hosting so don't for get to get your links to me. Hopefully I can convince Aggie to pose next week.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Late Night

Last night, I went out dancing for the first time in five years! I forgot how much I love to dance ~ I managed to go 40 minutes without stopping, before I had to take a quick refill break. There were a few too many drink refill breaks and 1 am found my friend, M and I stumbling towards food.

A sushi joint on Granville Street was our aim; a bare bones, very clean whole in the wall kind of place, the food is so good, but so cheap.
The salmon sashimi was like butter in our mouths, with an intensely fresh flavour.

The Spicy Tuna Sashimi has an incredibly addictive sweet hot sesame sauce on it; I wish I knew what went into it.

Not pictured is the california roll we ordered for alcohol soaking carbs. At only 1.88$, it sone of the cheapest sushi rolls ever. The gimmick? They don't cut it; you eat it like a big fat hot dog! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 20, 2006

Baking: From My Home to yours

Sara of I Like to Cook asked me if I would be interested in participating in another cookbook spotlight. I get a free cookbook out of the deal with the option to cook from/review. The publisher gets some publicity.
THe latest offering is Dorie Greenspan's Baking; From my home to yours. I notice that the Amzon reviews are very positive; I agree with them so far, but I have only tried one recipe so far. These are the Applesauce Spice Bars.

I will post a recipe as soon as I have the energy to hold that 4lb book while I type, but in the meantime, here is a link to a paraphrased version of the recipe.
I really like these bars and they got better with age too. Initially, the texture was wonderfully light and cakey. Overnight in the fridge, the moisture from the glaze soaked into the cake, giving it a moister denser texture. I could bicture serving this warm with creme fraiche or creme anglaise.
Stay tuned, because I plan to try out another recipe from this book to see if I just got lucky on this one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Things I don't like

Well, I learned something new about myself ~ I don't like catfish. I tried, Rob likes it, I don't. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that he is a prairie boy and grew up with freshwater fish, whereas I am a westcoast girl with a thing for seafood.
 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Beef Stew with Chilis and Green Peppers

I started with a recipe for something else, but the stew evolved as I made it. The end result was amazing, with one of the best broths ever. My changes are in italics.

Beef Stew with Poblanos, Tomatillos, and Potatoes
From Cooking Light

Tomatillos lend this Latin-inspired stew tangy taste, while roasted poblano chiles offer modest heat. Look for canned tomatillos with the Latin/Mexican foods in your grocery store.

2 poblano chiles (ancho chilies, rough chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (12-ounce) pale Mexican beer (such as Corona)
2 cups water (Skipped this)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can tomatillos, drained and crushed (I was going to use a jar of tomatillo salsa, but as I was making the stew, I began to question the age of the salsa. I left it out)
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
6 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled white potato (about 2 pounds)(more like 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled queso fresco (didn't have any)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat broiler.

Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 10 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning chiles occasionally. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Chop chiles; set aside.
(Obviously, I skipped this step)

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute dried chiles for about five minutes, remove and transfer to crockpot Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender and golden brown. Spoon onion into a large bowl. (I transferred to crockpot)

Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to onion. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Add beer to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add chopped chiles, 2 cups water, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, tomatillos, and beef broth; bring to a simmer. (This is the bit where I left out the tomatillos and water. I then transferred everything to the crockpot and simmered on high for 2 hours) Stir in the beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is just tender.
At this point, I removed the chunks of dried ancho from the broth and pureed them, then added them back. The potato went in and I simmered for another hour or so.Stir in potato. Simmer, uncovered, 50 minutes or until beef and potato are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Ladle 1 1/3 cups stew into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blogreader Spotlight

I just realised the next victim on my list hasn't posted since May! Still a beautiful blog and worth a wander through the archives; A la Cuisine
Since that was a bit of a half offering, I'll throw the next one in too.
Accidental Scientist, out of Oregon is in my top ten of favourite blogs (please don't make me identify them all). The food is accessible and her writing is ... well, lets just say I wish I could write HALF so well as that!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hay, Hay, Its Donna Day!

I made it! Told you I was busy this weekend. Just whipped up a batch of fritters to get in on the Donna Hay Day fun and games.

I took the basic corn fritter recipe from Donna Hay and ran with it.

Corn and Ham Fritters

1 cup flour, sifted
2 eggs
20g (¾ oz) butter, melted
sea salt and cracked black pepper
400g (14 oz) can creamed corn
1 ham steak, chopped
3 green onions (scallions), chopped
vegetable oil for shallow-frying

Place flour, eggs, butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Fold through corn, ham and green onions.
Place two tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and heat over medium heat.
Add ¼ cups of the mixture to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until bubbles appear on the surface. Set aside.
Add another two tablespoons of oil and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Serve with sauce of your choice. I found Sweet Chili Sauce for Chicken was the tastiest accompaniment. Posted by Picasa

Bringing in the Harvest

The theme of this session of Canadian Blogging By Mail is Harvest. I thought I wouldn't be able to participate because my schedule has made it increasingly difficult to do any meaningful food projects. Yesterday, I lucked into an unexepected day off and took FULL advantage of it. Cranberries are in so much abundance right now, they are practically being given away. I decided to go with two different sauces.
First, Cranberry Apricot Chutney

Cranberry Apricot Chutney
3lb fresh cranberries
3 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups dried apricots, diced
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
2 c. water
3 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 tbsp oil

Saute onion in oil. Add celery, cook for five minutes, add apricots and cranberries. Mix in spices and cook another five minutes. Then add sugar and water and simmer until cooked and thickened.

The second was plain old cranberry sauce

Linda's Cranberry Sauce

3lbs fresh cranberries
3 cups sugar
3 tbsp ginger

Cook to desired texture.

This round of CBBM is hosted by Confessions of a Cardamom Addict (I can totally relate to THAT!).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Feasting on Asphalt.

Last night I caught Alton's new show, Feasting on Asphalt. I love it. I wish I could take a trip like that across the US (or Canada, for that matter)
By a total fluke, the meatloaf Rob made for dinner was Alton Brown's recipe!

Good Eats Meat Loaf
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground chuck
18 ounces ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/2 cup catsup
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

Rob wanted one more egg in the mix, he found the loaf a little loose in texture. I liked it, but I could have done with a slightly juicier meatloaf.

Happy Friday the 13th! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Say Cheese

Remember this?

And this response?

I thought of it as I photographed my turkey and pecorino pepato grilled sandwich last night.... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blogreader Spotlight

Yes, I know its Tuesday and this is supposed to be a Monday thing. Well, it was a holiday Monday this week, so I delayed it. (Actually, I forgot).
This week's blog is A Finger In Every Pie. I think I discovered it through Sugar High Friday, but the writing is fun and the food is incredible.

I am enjoying my THIRD!!! day off in a row. We have been watching Twin Peaks, eating soup and other domestic joys. I should really post about our Curried Apple and Butternut Squash soup. I am on a quest to stem the flow of money we are haemorraging into our grocery bill by meal planning and using more leftovers. I had leftover roasted squash from Thanksgiving dinner, leftover roasted pumpkin from cheesecake making and leftover applesauce from who knows when. They went into a pot with some onions, garam masala, curry powder and tamarind tea made with leftover tamarind from Rob's chutney. Pureed everything, added some water and cream and voila ~ LOTS of lovely soup ( I got two more meals fro the freezer out of it).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of you who celebrate at this time are enjoying good food and good company. Our Thanksgiving dinner was last night; we invited two friends over for food and drink.
I bought a potted plant and dropped it into a copper flour cannister that I found for super cheap at the Salvation Army.

One of our friends is seen here cutting up the rack of pork. The pork was stuffed with a couscous and date stuffing; unfortunately, I didn't take a picture after the carving. I was so proud of that perfectly stuffed pork....

Rob made his delicious sauteed garlicky broccoli, a huge hit at the table. Doesn't it look fabulous in my great grandmother's china ;P

The other friend, posing with the cinnamon scented roasted butternut squash.

And finally, the cheesecake. My picture is a little sad because I had to take it this morning; apparently the amount of wine consumed made for some terrible photography last night. This cheesecake means a lot to me; our friends who moved to Ontario last year used to make it and we miss them terribly. The recipe is totally idiot proof.

A happy Thanksgiving all round, almost enough to distract me from our 3-2 loss last night....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Smooth Sailing

The small things please me ~ when everything is ready for dinner at the exact same time, no waiting on the potatoes or overdoing the fish.

I made seared halibut with a roasted lemon beurre blanc, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two Stuffings

Rob and I are planning to do roast pork for Thanksgiving dinner and have been tossing around some stuffing ideas. I decided to do a trial run with two of the more serious contenders. This was the winner:

And the two stuffings side by side:

The winning stuffing recipe will go up here when I have a free minute, but it involved couscous, dates, cured olives and aleppo pepper, with a coriander, fennel, cumin crust on the outside. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blogreader spotlight plus..

This Monday's spotlight is on A Few of My Favourite Things. I fisrt started reading this Melbourne based blog because of Weekend Cat BLogging (pictures of beautiful gray cats) but I enjoy the beautiful pictures, reviews of restaurants I will never eat at and the recipes.

Now, I am adding a second part today, because I just wanted to share. I actually had a weekend this weekend and on Sunday Rob and I had brunch at Hon's. I have been craving congee for a week and that is exactly what I got.

As well as a plate of pot stickers.

The pics were taken after I started eating. You actually get a huge bowl of Chinese Mushroom and Chicken Congee and six potstickers for 7.50$

This week is going to be busy. I work a double today, a friend is visiting from Japan tomorrow and she likes her Tuesday Nights, Wednesday I'll be at the film festival and I am hoping to squeeze a few more movies in this week as well as finishing Thanksgiving dinner plan. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Beef Burgundy

AKA Beouf Bourguignonne

I love my standby beef stew stew recipe but yesterday, a rare day off, I decided I wanted to tackle beef burgundy. I make it at work quite a lot, but I am not 100% keen on that recipe. I tried googling it, but nothing really grabbed me. So, I decided top strike out on my own. I knew the basic essentials, I just needed to figure out how to make them work together.

Beef Burgundy
2 lb boneless beef shortribs (or any cut that screams stew), cubed
1 bottle red wine ( I used a merlot)
1 cub beef or veal stock
1/4 lb bacon
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tbsp tomato paste
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4lb button mushrroms
1/4lb shallots peeled

Preheat oven to 325F.
Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and reserve. Season the meat heavily with salt and pepper, then toss with a light coating of flour. Working in batches, sear the beaf and remove from pan. In the same pan, saute the onions, carrots and celery for 2 minute; add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Deglaze with red wine and allow to reduce by 1/3. Add beef stock and thyme and return bacon and beef to the dutch oven. Cover and place in preheated oven Don't look at it for two hours.
Either roast or saute the shallots stovetop until tender. Brown whole button mushrooms. When stew is ready, serve garnished with mushrooms, shallots and chopped parsely.

I served it over rough mashed potatoes from the farmer's market and some of Milan's beautiful beans tossed with butter and lavender sea salt. Rob raved, so I think this recipe is a keeper, maybe trying it with bone-in shortribs...