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September 15, 2004

hearty (wintery) meal


Sunday, September 12

It was when we were having a friend of ours over for dinner, about a year ago from now, that it occurred to me that I might want to cook veal. I think it was because I just read about veal dish on the net, but in any case I found a recipe for veal in wine casserole which looked pretty nice and simple, and only thing that I couldn't find anywhere in town was, alas, veal.

As I was already totally into the idea of making that recipe, I just made it with beef. Not veal, but good enough, in fact, good enough to have become a regular in our house. I was more familiar with red wine for cooking with beef, but white wine The guest loved it, too.

One year having past, I still don't get to find veal in my neighborhood. So I still use beef - hence beef in wine casserole -, and it works fine. Today I floured the beef cubes before browning them in a skillet so that the beef can retain its juiciness when cooked for a long time.


The vegetables used in the recipe are only small onion and mushrooms, but I added celery and carrot, and used regular onion. I also used some dried black truffles, too, hoping that they would add depth to the dish. I didn't use chicken broth, by the way, and just used white wine - all the addition of vegetable and herbs, combined with beef and wine, should make the cooking liquid good enough, I was sure. I sauted vegetable, made sauce, and put everything in the casserole and it was ready to go in the oven.


After about 50 minutes of cooking in the oven, the it somehow got soupy despite the lesser amount of liquid used - it might have been vegetables that had given out extra liquid. I cooked another 10 or 15 minutes with the lid off, letting the excess liquid evaporate, although it was still pretty soupy when it was done.


Even so, the dish tasted good as ever, and to my surprise, the 1.3 lb beef, one big carrot, a couple of stalks of celery, two onions, a handful of mushrooms, cooked in oil, butter, and wine somehow all disappeared at once. To where? I can only blame one person....

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