Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a Boo-licious Day!

Happy Halloween everyone! It's time for the age old tradition of "trick or treating"!  Staying with the tradition and saying "trick or treat give me something good to eat"... I'm gonna do just that!
Today my treat is a boo-licious main course that will electrify your senses!  While you're out trick or treating, skipping from home to home in search of your treat, at home your meal to warm your chilled bones awaits.

Slow Cooked Spezzatino

Crock Pot, large braising pan
Pan searing flour
2 lbs Rastelli All Natural Black Angus Beef Cubes
4 Tbsp Pure Olive Oil
1 pkg Mirepoix
1 bag (1.5 lbs) Baby White, Dutch or Red Potatoes, halved
1 cup Dry Red Wine
1 can (28 oz) Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tbsp stemmed and chopped rosemary
1 Cup Low Sodium Free Range Beef Culinary Stock
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen Peas and Pearl Onions
Salt/Pepper to taste

1.  Dust beef with pan searing flour; pat off excess
2.  Heat oil in large braising pan on Medium until oil faintly smokes.  Add beef (1 lb at a time); sear 8-10min until all sides are paper-bag brown.  Transfer beef to slow cooker.
3.  Add mirepoix and potatoes to braising pan; cook, stirring, 3-4 mins.
4.  Add wine.  Cook, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan.  Simmer 3-5 min to reduce liquid by a third.  Transfer to slow cooker.
5.  Add tomatoes, rosemary, and beef stock.  Cook on High 4-6 hours or LOW 8-10 hours.  Carefully remove cover to avoid steam.  Turn slow-cooker to High if not already.  Stir in peas and onions.
Cook 5-15 mins or until onions are thoroughly heated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 6

As the candy is counted and the stew is ready to be served, a glass of red to take the fall chill away is in order.  My personal pick for this hearty stew is Picens by Domodimonti.

Marche, Red, Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)
Grape varieties
Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Fairly intense purplish ruby.
Fine and expressive nose of blackberries, leather, mild spices and menthol.
Supple attack on the palate with a pleasing tannic structure. An ample yet elegant wine.