For the past couple of days, I’ve had my eye on a recipe for boeuf bourguignon from Anthony Bourdain’s wonderful Les Halles Cookbook. It’s a classic recipe perfect for this ridiculous February deep freeze that keeps hanging around like a drunken dinner guest. Yaaaaawn. Is that the time? You wouldn’t believe how early my day begins! … Oh, you get to sleep in tomorrow? That’s … great. Heh-heh. It couldn’t be simpler — ten ingredients stew for two hours and emerge as fork-tender meat in a rich wine broth.
Or that was the plan, anyway. Gil picked up the beef, onions, and carrots for me last night while I took care of things around the house. The onions looked slightly better than the cancer-ward limes he brought back for his gin & tonic, so I figured they’d be ok. “Ha-HA,” fate, she does laugh.
We caught an early showing of Pan’s Labyrinth (terrific fairy tale movie, but not as fantasy-driven as I expected from the trailer) at the mall today and I hit the kitchen just as soon as we returned. I took out the cutting board and my lovely new santoku knife, ready to make short work of the onions sitting before me. But the first onion had a large weeping spot near the top when I cut into it, so into the trash it went. The second felt oddly deflated near the root end, so it followed the first. The third obviously suffered great misery at the hand of its tormentors so I performed a merciful act of euthanasia. Numbers four and five will haunt me for weeks and I … still can’t speak of them.
Sigh. So I prepared a vacuum seal bag, thinking I’d freeze the meat and cook it when we return from Seattle next week. After pulling the package from the refrigerator, I realized that there were two long tears in it on opposite sides, so some of the beef had oxidized. Not wanting to unintentionally poison us (as I almost did with undercooked-looking sausages last night), I consigned the beef to the same pauper’s field as the onions. May they find peace.
Yes, there are good things about living in Ringwood, but a lack of competing grocery stores isn’t one of them. Lucky for us, Luigi’s Pizzeria is, so we’ll be ordering in tonight.
*When I give my work friends the weekend recap on Mondays, I always feel like the 40-Year Old Virgin describing how he satisfied his egg salad craving. So IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve decided to own it and spare them the conversation by posting weekly updates of my cooking exploits for all to see, share, and nod at sadly.