Friday, October 30, 2015

Ragoût de boeuf à la manière d' Epstein- Not Much More to Do: Cook Using Readings from Joe Epstein as a Timer

No Leo Football; bugger all on TV; it's cold; I'm Tap City, until pay day. I took out my 1947 Wagner Ware dutch oven and gave it s good washing and let dry overnight and thought of making a weekends worth of good eatin' ragout - chili, goulash, or maybe stew.  Yeah, stew.

Not just stew, but Ragoût de boeuf à la manière d' Epstein - Joseph Epstein.  Last winter, I made this concoction and used Joe Epstein as my timer. No kidding.

Ergo, I defrosted two pounds of County Fair stew meat and roasted six red potatoes and put the spud back in the icebox overnight.  I cut stew quality onions, carrots, celery and a small stalk of fennel and did the same.

So I'm making stew.

I use Tony Cachere's Creole Seasoning instead of standard season salt.

I will brown the beef once I shake the bovine cubes in black peppered flour - one pound at a times in cooking oil and once browned up nicely take the meat out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Then I add the five cups of vegetables the 1947 Wagner Ware dutch oven gave scald the hell out of them.

After a sound scalding, or roots, stalks and bulbs, I return the browned beef and two tablespoons of Tony Cachere and mix well with a wooden spoon.  After that I pour cold tap water three cups and 1 1/2 cup of beef stock and bring to a rolling boil uncovered.

I reduce the flame in the stove top to simmer and cover and will read from Joseph Epstein's Essay's in Biography - George Washington, Henry Adams. ( forty minutes) 

That should be about time to give the wooden spoon another workout and make sure I am getting the 'good stuff' scraped off the bottom.

Return to Essay's in Biography - George Santayana and Adlai Stevenson.( forty minutes)  

At this point in my process I take the cut and roasted potatoes chilling in the icebox and add them to the mixture.

More wrist work with the wooden spoon.

Read the rather longish essay on Henry Luce ( twenty to twenty five minutes) and then taste what I have wrought.  Add appropriate seasonings and water.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Put the stew in a tupperware container and place it in the ice box for Saturday's enjoyment with biscuits that I pop out of the cardboard can, because I am one lousy baker. 

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