Don't worry- I'm not going all Julie Powell on you (ugh). But I will confess that I got a little emotional when I realized I had executed (though definitely not mastered) one of the classics. Isn't that what every slightly chubby little girl dreams of?
So here's my ode, loud and proud. The mise en place (diced onion, quartered mushrooms, 4mm x 4mm carrots, minced garlic, celery, 2cm/2cm cubes of beef and nectar of the gods, or pancetta):
We sautéed the pancetta until it was fragrant and brown:
After removing the pancetta, we cooked the vegetables just until the onion appeared translucent. And then things got super exciting- we dredged the cubes of beef in flour (doesn't that sound SO appetizing)!
Moving on, we deglazed the pan by adding cognac and red wine. I now know: to deglaze is to pour alcohol into a dish and use it to scrape up all those juicy brown bits on the bottom of the pan. So we put our bulging guns to use. Next: added rosemary and let it simmer until the wine sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (adding a splash or two of beef broth along the way).
It looks a little like dog food, I know. But trust me- it was amazingly delicious. Also, cutting potatoes into that little football shape there is probably the hardest thing we've had to do.
In addition to the lovely concoction above, we made chicken with butter sauce:
Chicken with cream sauce:
Here's a shoutout to Rachel, who valiantly grilled and sauced those things. But, as the 2008 presidential campaign showed us, you can't put lipstick on a pig- they tasted like butter-soaked sponge.
Off to Punta del Este for Semana Santa this weekend! Pics and perhaps some restaurant investigations to come! Happy Passover/Easter!