(a la Park Heights)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
21⁄2 to 3 pounds quality stew meat or chuck beef, cut into large cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, stems discarded and sliced into 1-inch chunks
1 pound frozen whole pearl onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups Pinot Noir
4 cups of beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small dried bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot.
Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted utensil and allow it to drain on a paper towel.
Sprinkle the beef cubes with flour, salt and pepper. In batches, add the cubes in a single layer to the hot oil and sear the beef for 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove and set aside.
Sauté the carrots, mushrooms and onions over medium heat until the onions are slightly browned.
Add the garlic, cooking briefly. At that point, return the meat and bacon to the pan with all the juices. Add the wine and the beef broth.
Then, add tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover with a tight fighting lid.
Cook for 21⁄2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender. At the end, add the butter to give a satiny appearance to the sauce.
Serve with a crusty French baguette or over egg noodles, rice pilaf or a bed of mashed potatoes.
Serves 6 to 8.
Apple Tarte Tatin
3 Fuji Apples, peeled, cored and sliced to a 1⁄2- inch thickness
3 Gala Apples, peeled, cored and sliced to a 1⁄2-inch thickness
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup apple cider
Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon (or 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick butter, cut into pats
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Whipped cream for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine apple slices, sugar, apple cider, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a cast iron skillet or heavy oven-proof pan.
Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly and brushing the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush dipped in water, if necessary.
Continue to cook the mixture for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until it turns a dark caramel brown color.
Remove from heat immediately and add the pats of butter, 2 at a time, stirring to incorporate.
Once all of the butter has been added, arrange the apple slices in a neat and pretty way.
Remember, this dish will be inverted.
Return skillet to the burner and continue to cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place the pastry on top of the apples and tuck around the edge of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. When cooled, put your serving platter upside down on top of the pastry.
Carefully turn the entire dish upside down, holding the pan and platter firmly.
Gently lift the pan so the tart falls out of the skillet.
Slice the tart into pieces and garnish with whipped cream.