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Menu Plan for Winter II: Week 5, Day 2

Braised Beef Provençal
Creamy Polenta

Cooking time: 5 - 6 hours for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

        This is the 'longest-cooking' of the winter braises that we will be doing. With a heavy pot and tight lid you don't need to worry about it drying out. It could be done in a slow-cooker. 

Braised Beef Provençal

Total time: 5 hours 45 minutes   broken into 3 stages:
 
   Night before: 10 minutes;  Afternoon of: 25 minutes; Baking time: 5 hours plus 10 minutes to finish
    This is one of those long-cooking dishes that I love doing during the winter. It has a bit of bacon and sautéed carrots added, to give it its own unique flavors.  The leftovers will be tossed with pasta for another dinner.

Braised Beef Provençal Ingredients:

provencal beef pot  Instructions:

Note:  If your baking dish is not appropriate for the cook top put the red wine sauce into a small saucepan before thickening.

Creamy Polenta

Total time: 15 minutes      if using quick-cooking polenta 
    Check the package directions for quantity proportion - you may have to add more (or less) liquid to get a soft consistency.  It can be adjusted at the end, before serving.   This should be like mashed potatoes.

Creamy Polenta Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 6 hours
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
heavy pot or Dutch oven with lid, wax or parchment
paper, large skillet, small saucepan, deep bowl
or pan for marinating

The night before or earlier in the day:
Cut beef into cubes
Peel onion and garlic
Cut onion, stud with cloves
Put beef, onion, garlic, bouquet garni in deep bowl
Add vinegar and 2 cups red wine, more if needed
Cover, refrigerate
The afternoon (5 1/2 hours before dinner)
Turn oven on 350F (175C)
Peel, slice carrots
Sauté carrots
Remove beef from fridge, drain, reserve marinade
Cut bacon
Remove carrots; sauté bacon

Remove bacon; brown beef
Put bacon in heavy pot
Add beef, carrots, reserved marinade, onion, garlic, herbs, stock, and more wine if needed
Cover with paper, lid, bake
      2  1/2 hour break
Check the beef if you're around
      2 1/2 hour break
25 minutes before dinner
Check the beef
Heat stock, herbs for polenta
Dissolve cornstarch in water for sauce
Remove beef, carrots, et all, cover to keep warm
Bring sauce to boil
Stir polenta into stock
Add milk, cheese, heat through
Cover polenta
Stir in cornstarch into sauce, thicken to taste
Spoon some sauce over beef, carrots
Serve all

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