Saturday, August 24, 2013
Eating Paleo? It's in. Since it's my job to know about these things, here are the basics--The intent is to eat the way our ancestors may have eaten in the Paleolithic time--hunting and gathering, that's what they did then. And they hunted and gathered meat, fruits and veg--there was no farming, so grains don't make the cut. No salt, no refined sugar, some honey, perhaps.
That said, I decided to test this recipe. Gotta say, I pretty much loved it. Chuck roast, lots of onions, root vegetables (I used golden beets as called for and rutabaga. Believe it of not, I am allergic to celeriac/celery root. I know. I'm exotic that way. Trust me, it's a well-known food allergy in Europe. Thank my Italian ancestors. I digress...), red wine (okay, so they didn't farm, but they knew how to let grape juice ferment, right?? I'm in.).
The only twist I made to this recipe is that I seared the meat first. I'm a big fan of really getting a good brown on the meat, because then when I deglaze with that red wine, I get an incredible rich flavor from all that good stuff on the bottom of the pan (culinary vocab lesson: fond. That's what the good brown stuff is. Fond. You will need to know this if you are watching Top Chef Masters. Okay, joking. You'll need to know that if you are IN Top Chef Masters. I'm not. I still like knowing it....ARGH. I digress AGAIN.)
Bottom line? Awesome stew and easy and satisfying--because of the beets and the rutabaga (a.k.a swede, a.k.a. yellow turnip), I didn't even come close to missing potatoes in this. I browned the meat and the onions, with the garlic going in just a minute or so before adding the wine to deglaze, then adding all the rest of the veg...cover it and pop it into a 300F oven for a few hours. Awesome--do NOT miss out on the orange peel, which really adds a lovely note to the dish. I walked back into the house a few hours later and I could still catch the lingering scent of that orange/savory goodness. What a treat.
As with any stew, I can only imagine this will be even better a day later. Guess what's on my menu for lunch?