Friday, January 20, 2006

Tonite's Menu - Very Beefy!

So tonight was our night to host the monthly dinner party. We had expected a wintry Friday eve, not tonight's sultry and 60 degree weather, so the menu had called for a classic pot roast with rich gravy, over noodles. We stuck with it, fine weather be damned.

The beef was seared early this morning, on all sides. Onions and celery and carrots were carmelized. All then was thrown into the Crock-pot, along with some nice Cab, a twig or three of rosemary (still lush in my garden), enough garlic to choke an armadillo, a handful of peppercorns, a can of beef broth (seriously - who makes their own broth? hello? hello?), and a half stick of butter (most forget that last one).

Let me be the first to say that the CrockPot can be used to produce many awful, awful dishes. But this is not one of them. There is no cream of mushroom soup here, no sour cream, no cream cheese. This, my friends, is a beautiful winter dish. And a long, slow heat helps make it.

The Pot is set on low and cooks all day. I arrive home after a couple or three happy hour beers with the buds, and the place smells like yummy. Mmmm. I steam some broccoli, toss it with olive oil and another five pounds of garlic for a side. The noodles are boiled to just south of al dente.

The guests arrive. The corks fly, the many martinis are made very, very dirty. The roast splits with a fork, simply melts apart, is spooned into bowls with a gorgeous sauce, over buttery noodles.

Yum. Welcome, Winter, in all your 60 degree splendiferous glory.

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