Sunday, October 19, 2008

What's for dinner: filet au poivre, brisket chili with winter squash

We bought a whole tenderloin at Costco this week. If you consider the price of steak, it’s actually kind of economical to buy a whole roast and cut it up yourself. With this abundance, I’ve cut a roast off of it and am letting it marinate in a rub of herbes de provence, minced shallot, ground peppercorns, kosher salt, and olive oil. Once it’s had some time to think about its fate, I will tie it up into a compact roast and put it into a 425 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, then immediately into the freezer. This results in a great texture and amazing juiciness. We’ll slice that and serve with dandelion greens sautéed in bacon, garlic, and shallots and smashed potatoes. Probably start with some sliced heirloom tomatoes as some of them are beginning to look like it’s time to be eaten. I have great piles of fresh basil growing in my AeroGardens so we have no shortage of tomato seasoning.

We’re also making dinner for tomorrow. The cover recipe from the new Bon Appétit is “Texas Brisket Chili with Winter Squash.” Dave looked at the recipe and got a hankering for it, so we also bought some brisket at Costco. Already had all the other ingredients, in fact I’ve been looking for ways to use all the winter squash that’s been in our CSA basket. Calls for a red chile sauce from dried chiles, cumin, garlic, oregano, chili powder, tomatoes, and fresh green chiles. Now it’s in the oven for three hours until the cubed brisket is tender, then add the squash and cook for another hour. I’ll chill it out on the deck for a little while, then refrigerate for dinner tomorrow.

Another chore today was cleaning out the vegetable bins in the fridge. Now I have a pot of vegetable stock cooking on the stove, with carrots, celery, onion, fennel, celery, and other bits and pieces tossed in. No, I don’t know what I’ll make from the stock, but whatever it is, it will start with a tasty base. With the fennel in it, a minestrone might be a good idea.

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