adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Slow Cooking Thirty

Happy Monday, Friends! First off, thank you to everyone for all the 30th Birthday Wishes.  I feel so loved and wiser already.  I had a very relaxing birthday here and we had a fun time continuing the celebration here with an impromptu Saturday night party.  I spent the morning of my birthday having a café creme and my favorite breakfast pastry, une feuilleté, which is basically a pain au chocolat with a buttery cream center and powdered sugar.  Yes please.

petit dejeuner

I walked all around town shopping sightseeing, and then met The Hub for lunch at our favorite spot, Wasabi.

nom nom nom

That evening, The Hub brought me some beautiful flowers. I put on my Grandma's vintage, sequined cardigan (sequins on a Thursday?  Yes, it was my birthday) and we headed out to Al-Àndalus, a Spanish tapas bar that has the best sangria in France.  We finished off the night with a delicious 3 course meal at La Girafe.

picked them out himself!


grandma passed on her love of sequins to me

c'est était délicieux!

It continues to be sunny and hot as all hell here (did you see my picture on Facebook?), but yesterday we decided to say, screw you weather! and whip up some hearty, fall food.  We slow cooked some meat and I made my *famous* (term used loosely) Brussel Sprouts with the secret ingredient of bacon.  That's right.  I like my brussel sprouts roasted, with lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, chili flakes, shallots, bacon and pecans.  Sound strange?  Mix it up and roast at 400º for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.  I like mine really dark and crispy.  (For those of you who saw my Twitter rant yesterday, don't worry, I figured out a way to get that roasting pan in the oven!)

savory goodness

There are many ways to slow cook meat, but here's how we like to do it:
  1. Buy a big hunk of beef. Preferably a shoulder or butt. Just make sure it's marbled and not too lean.
  2. Season the beef with salt, pepper and any other spices you’d like (we added rosemary and cayenne cuz we like it spicy). And then dredge the meat in flour.
  3. Heat a Dutch Oven over medium heat with olive and butter.  Sear the meat on all sides until it’s nicely browned.  Remove heat from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add some more butter and sauté some chopped onions, carrots, and garlic until softened.  Scrap up all the browned bits left by the meat on the bottom of the pan – that’s the good stuff.
  5. Add the meat back into the pot.  Pour in one bottle of red wine (yes, the whole thing), about 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and some aromatics (rosemary, thyme, sage, etc. – whatever flavor combo you want).  If you want to add more veggies, like mushrooms and potatoes, do this now.  If you don't want to use wine, you could replace with beef broth, but you'd be making a huge mistake.
  6. Turn the heat to low, cover and let that bad boy cook all day long.  Try not to whine too much throughout the day that it smells so good you want to eat it right now.  Hubs do not appreciate that.
  7. At the end of the day when your house is smelling oh-so-good and you can’t stand it anymore, scoop out that meat and let it fall apart all over your plate.  Spoon over the juices and veggies.  Make sure to have a baguette on hand to sop up all the goodness.

my house smells better than your house

paired with a 2009 Bordeaux

PS - what a great weekend for Wisconsin sports!  The Hub is still basking in all the victory glory.  4-0 baby!

3 Responses to “Slow Cooking Thirty”

  1. must make those brussel sprouts, stat.

  2. Natalie says:

    The slow cooked meat — any recommendation as far as wine? A cab? Also, what spices would you recommend for those of us that are slightly challenged in this department? :)

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Nat!

      I would pair the meal with a full-bodied red that can stand up to the meat. A Cab would definitely work, or you could try a Zinfandel, like 7 Deadly Zins – one of my favorites!

      For the spices, sprinkle a lot of salt and pepper on the meat before you sear it. Then when all the liquid has been added, I would include some rosemary and thyme. You won’t need much else because the flavors in the slow-cooked meat, veggies and wine are going to do all the work.

      Let me know how it turns out!!

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