I’m a week behind, so let’s hear it for Halloween pictures! We should celebrate with leftover candy (assuming it’s lasted this long).

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Rufus begged to wear his Halloween costume to the last farmers’ market of the season. How could we refuse? All I cared about was getting a few veggies and a nice chuck roast for beef bourguignon. As you can see, we both left happy.

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I combined the classic recipe from Julia Child with a couple of Anthony Bourdain’s modifications and tweaked a bit more based on ingredients we had at hand. To say this was the best beef stew I’ve had would be an understatement; I’m sure it was the overdose of demi-glace that did it, but that doesn’t demystify things at all.

recipe and more Ru pics after the jump

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It took him four years, but he finally got the bunny.

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Gil was understandably proud.

Beef Bourguignon adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook

1 tablespoon olive oil
6-8 ounces prosciutto, cubed
3 pound chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 bottle red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme
1 bay leaf
3 ounces demi glace
water to cover
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 325F with rack in the lower third.

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté prosciutto in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove prosciutto with a slotted spoon. Set pot aside.

Dry beef cubes and season well with salt and pepper. Reheat the fat in the pot and brown beef cubes in batches. As they brown, add them to the prosciutto.

Sauté carrots and onion in the same pot until onion is golden brown. Add salt and pepper, then beef and prosciutto back to pot. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and toss with the meat until well distributed. Add wine, thyme, bay leaf, demi glace and water just to cover, then bring to a simmer. Cover pot tightly with lid and braise in the oven for 3-4 hours. The meat is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork.

While the beef is cooking, sauté mushrooms in butter until they’re lightly browned and starting to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sherry vinegar and cook until liquid is evaporated. (This was my addition, but I liked the hit of vinegar to cut some of the richness of the dish. Feel free to leave it out if it’s not to your liking.)

When beef is ready, stir in the mushroom mixture. Serve with boiled potatoes, rice or noodles.

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