One of the most thoughtful gifts this Christmas is my The Silver Spoon cookbook from my lovely boyfriend. He said I was so excited to give a copy to his sister and brother in law that he had to get it for me. It’s only been described as the Italian bible…you know, the kind with over 2000 recipes on 1500 pages.
I wanted to try out my new fancy blue Dutch oven and make some comfort food since it was raining like crazy outside. There is a recipe in the Manzo/Beef section called Beef Stew with White Wine. I adapted the recipe with what was already in my fridge and what was available at my local supermarket. You can substitute lots of things in almost any recipe and the meal will still turn out delicious. Trust me.
Evan invited some of our friends (or hooligans as my grandma calls them) over for dinner last minute so I pumped up the side dish with a white wine risotto and a multi grain French loaf for dipping.
What I used for the roast:
Eye of round roast, already bound with kitchen string
4 thick cut slices of pork side
3 onions, diced
3 large carrots, diced
½ head of garlic, chopped
½ bottle dry white wine
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
The original recipe calls for larding the pork fat through the beef, but if you don’t have a larding needle (which I don’t own) you can cut 3 incisions all the way through the roast and stuff it with strips of the pork side. Brown the sides of the roast in olive oil in the Dutch oven over the stove top. When the roast is browned on all sides take it out and add the vegetables and the rest of the pork side, then place the roast back on top. Add the white wine, salt and pepper, and 2 bay leaves and then pile some of the vegetable/pork side mix back on top of the roast to keep it moist while cooking.
The brilliant part about the Dutch oven is you just put the lid on it and then throw it right into the oven. A one pot meal! Check on it every half an hour or so and scoop some of the liquid back on top of the roast.
My White Wine Risotto
I love cooking with wine. It adds a great rich flavor to the dish. The best part about cooking with wine is that when you put a little bit into the pot…you put a little bit in to the cook’s glass!
½ bottle of dry white wine
About 1-2 cups milk (depends on how many servings)
1 onion, diced
1 tbs butter
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of Arborio rice per person
Melt the butter with olive oil in a large pan or pot on medium. Soften the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and allow the rice to soak up the butter and oil for a couple minutes. Add ½ of the wine and lower the heat a little bit. Stir the rice and let cook until the liquid has been absorbed, then add the rest of the wine. Repeat with ½ cup pours of milk until the rice is cooked. Mix in some (or a lot) freshly grated parmesan cheese and mix.
A stick to your bones kind of meal, the kind you want to eat when you can hear the wind howling and the rain batting against the window. Plus my good friend even said that “If I was on death row, I’d get you to cook my last meal.” I guess it was pretty good.