The Pleasures of Cooking for One
By Judith Jones
Hardcover, 288 pages
List Price: $27.95
2 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces, preferably a chunk cut into little dice
About 1-1/4 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 carrot, thick end, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
Herb packet of 1/2 bay leaf; a fat garlic clove, smashed; a small handful of parsley stems; 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 or 5 peppercorns
3 or 4 baby onions, or four 1-inch pieces of leek
3 or 4 baby carrots, or the thin ends of larger ones, peeled
2 or 3 small new potatoes
Brown the bacon in a heavy pot, fairly deep but not too large. When it has released its fat and is lightly browned, remove it to a dish, leaving the fat in the pan. Pat the pieces of beef dry with a paper towel. Pour the oil into the pot, and when it is hot, brown half the pieces of beef on all sides. Remove to the plate with the bacon, and brown the remaining pieces.
Now saute the onion and the carrot until they are lightly browned. Return the meats to the pot, sprinkle on the flour and some salt, and pour the wine and beef stock in. Tuck the herb packet into the pot, and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a lively simmer for about 1 hour or more, depending on the cut of the meat. Bite into a piece to determine if it is almost done (it will get another 20 minutes or so of cooking with the vegetables). When the time is right, add all the vegetables, cover, and cook at a lively simmer again for 20 — 25 minutes — pierce the veggies to see if they are tender. Serve yourself four or five chunks of meat, with all the vegetables, and a good French bread to mop up the sauce.
From The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones. Copyright 2009 by Judith Jones. Published by Knopf. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.