Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I am definitely not an artist. I gave up trying to draw pine trees in middle school when my language arts teacher (who also gave us art lessons) critiqued mine and it came up short. I still try once in a while, but usually with lousy results. However, the BFF talked me into taking a class offered by Wine & Design at Bull City Burger and Brewery. Et pourquoi pas? Maybe having a glass of wine would help. It sure couldn't hurt.
We started with this.
Christy was our teacher. She is a real artist with a studio in Raleigh.
Christy walked us through the process of putting paint on the canvas. That's the scary part for me. Where to start??
Kind of funky colors for a bull, but orange is my new favorite color. (Although I always think of Sandra Bullock/Leanne Tuohy in The Blind Side saying that orange is not is her color wheel and she will not wear that god-awful color should Michael decide to go to Tennessee. That was before I became a UT mom and started wearing orange T's on my own clothing and accessories.)
The BFF and I had a blast.
And they turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.
Érick, le Taureau, is hanging in my classroom (on the orange wall) for the time being. My 8th grade students and I will now take on the Eiffel in a couple of weeks. They have admired my chef d'oeuvre and I thought it would be fun to paint together and eat burgers afterwards. No wine, though. Just design.
My first encounter with the black bulls of the Camargue was during my first trip to Arles in 2005 when I took a jeep ride with Safari Robert.
Later in the week, I went to the arena for the bull races, les courses Camarguaises.
Is it cruel to now post a recipe for beef stew? Sorry, vegetarians. It just seems fitting and it is going to be cold here for the next few days. There's a new butcher shop in town, Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop. Sounds like a good place to find some local beef. Maybe even taureau.
This recipe comes from Frenchie Olivier. If you are the kind of cook who likes exact measurements, this is perhaps not the recipe for you. Break bad-- just jump in there. You can't mess it up. (Note the secret ingredient at the end.)
La Daube Provençale
Beef, hearty red wine (Gigondas or Vacqueyras), black olives, mushrooms (sliced or left whole), onions (sliced), thick-sliced smoked bacon (cut into pieces), flour, cognac, pepper, bay leaves, thyme
Place the cut up pieces meat in a bowl. Add the olives, mushrooms, bay leaves, thyme and pepper. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Take out the pieces of meat and roll them in flour.
Pour the leftover marinade in a dutch oven.
Brown the meat in a pan with sunflower oil then flambé them with the cognac.
Remove the meat from the pan once browned, then sauté the onions and bacon.
When this is all ready, pour it all into the dutch oven with the marinade.
Cover with the red wine and gently simmer for 4 hour,s uncovered.
The wine will slowly evaporate. Stir once in a while.
Towards the end of the cooking time, mix a tablespoon of flour and cold water, stir it well, and add it to the stew and stir.
Final touch-- secret ingredient-- add 2 squares of chocolate and mix well!
La Daube est prête! Your stew is ready!
Turn on the Gipsy Kings music.
Serve your daube with potatoes or rice (I have used all of my Camargue rice, unfortunately). Some good crusty bread. More red wine. A little cheese at the end of the meal. The rest of the chocolate.
Bon appétit from Provence! Merci, Olivier, for sharing your recipe with moi and now with all my readers!