round two

I don’t quite know what I did to piss off my body so mightily. But pissed it is and man is it slapping me around for it. I was just barely over the edge of feeling better after round one of my body sparring with me, getting rid of the cold Erik so kindly transferred to me (despite the fact that I didn’t ask for it. And this is how you know we’re Parks and Rec fans – he said to me (via text message) “I’m sorry I compromised your microchip.” Hehehe). Instead of waking up feeling joyous over my clear nasal passages and not-sore throat, ready to do some kitchen projects and baking (and eating) I woke up last weekend with an awful rolling nausea, a horrible stomachache and later, a wicked little fever. Needless to say, meal plans were shifted as the mere thought of food made me want to, well, puke. My plans for ciabatta were scrapped. Lots of 7-up and ginger tea was consumed. But I think I’m done with round two now, I’ve surrendered, apologized for whatever I did to make my body so angry with me, and my appetite is back (with a vengeance). Also, it’s cold outside for real now and when you’re hungry and cold, a dinner that is comprised of beef, veggies and crisp potatoes is very, very comforting. Also, having a Friday off, feeling good enough to really dig in and clean (read: disinfect heavily) your house while said house is filled with the aroma of this particular dinner cooking is also a very good thing.

Beef Pot Pie with Potato Crust 
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

You Need:
boneless chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces (I used maybe a pound, but just barely)
oil
a few Tablespoons of flour (enough to coat the beef pieces)
a small yellow onion, diced
a large celery stalk, diced
a large carrot, peeled and diced
a large garlic clove, minced
sprig of rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
sprig of thyme, leaves stripped and minced
a bottle of beer (as always, I used Shiner – I also ended up using 2 bottles)
russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
salt, pepper

Heat the oven to 350. Salt and pepper your beef pieces. Sprinkle the flour onto the beef and shake it around, coating each piece in flour. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the beef in batches, until each piece is golden brown. Remove to another plate. Add the onions, carrot, celery, and garlic to the dutch oven. Cook for a few minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the beef back to the pot along with the rosemary, thyme, and beer. Cover and transfer to the oven. Let it cook for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Remove from the oven; shred the beef up a bit. Check the seasonings; add salt if necessary. Make sure the beef mixture isn’t totally dry, too. Because if it is, the bottom will burn while you’re waiting for your crust to brown.

Raise the oven temp to 375. Peel the potatoes and slice them in very thin round slices. Arrange them over the meat filling in a circle (cover the entire surface of the filling). Brush the potatoes with oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown (45 minutes to 1 hour).

I know, it’s a terrible picture. But believe me when I say it’s delicious!

cooking music: (I had time to set a soundtrack! I haven’t in such a long time!) Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials

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