January 9, 2012

Snow Fun!

There is never a reason for boredom when living in Maine. There is winter fun just a few hours from The Maine House.We knew that our family would have a fantastic vacation spot no matter what time of the year it was and that has proven to be a very true statement.

Last year, the boys and Jenn came up to enjoy the slopes and teach Dad a trick or two as they practiced their ski ability at Sunday River. I however, decided to stay close to the lodge where I could cozy up to the fire and enjoy a few steaming mugs of  hot chocolate!

Snow Skiing at Sunday River

Yes, this is something that has been great fun and we hope to get in another trip before we move home. Maine is below average on our snowfall this year but apparently the resorts are manufacturing their own snow, so the slopes are open and ready for visitors. However, the Texas gang has had a few great trips over in Colorado and make snow skiing, and snowboarding look so easy! Believe me....it's not that easy!

What could be better than a delicious bowl of steaming beef stew when you arrive back at Estelle's after a cold day of skiing and snowboarding? Be sure to serve this with hot bread straight from the lovin' oven!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle BURGUNDY wine
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.

While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve. Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours. After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream.

Horseradish Sour Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chives, finely chopped, as garnish

Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the mixture on top of the stew and garnish with chopped chives.

Think you can handle it?

1 comment:

  1. We had a delicious prime rib out recently that had the best horseradish cream. I tried to re-create using the bottled sauce but it wasn't the same. I'll have to search for horseradish, I don't think Walmart here carries it. Thanks Betsy for sharing your great recipes!


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