Purple Beef and Garlicky Delight.
Sounds like something at a Chinese restaurant.
Sorry to disappoint in case you were really looking forward to some good old-fashioned, made in France by an American, Chinese food. But I promise:
This is pretty darn good too.
Garlic is so underused. A lot of people either don’t use it out of fear that they’ll get bad breath, which is codswallop in my book because the bad breath is totally worth it, or they use too much (a clove of garlic is NOT the same thing as a head of garlic), or not enough. A garlic hangover is a thing though. You know, when you actually do eat too much garlic for dinner and you wake up in the morning still tasting garlic in your mouth and possibly smelling like garlic?
Okay, maybe that’s just my family.
But no complaints can be made about roasted garlic. It’s so sweet and light and has absolutely no bite to it. In the salad bar at the Natural Foods Coop near school in Vermont they have roasted garlic that I could eat a whole plate of. Its SOOO good.
And garlic is good for you!
Apparently they used to pay the slaves that built the pyramids with garlic and radishes, because those two things helped keep them healthy (offsetting all of the beer, I guess).
Purple Beef and Garlicky Delight
12 button mushrooms
3 medium carrots
1 medium yellow onion
1 cup of red wine
½ cup beef stock
1 TBSP olive oil
1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
½ tsp salt (for the beef)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 medium cauliflower head
14 garlic cloves (I know it sounds like a lot, but bear with me)
½ tsp salt (for the cauliflower)
2 TBSP duck fat (or any solid-at-room-temperature fat, except coconut oil. Coconut doesn’t go here.)
Cut the carrots into thin half-moons, dice the onion, and cut the button mushrooms into sixths (or quarters, depending on how big/small they are). Roll the beef chunks in the salt and garlic powder. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (preferably; I don’t have one and did this all in a frying pan…it worked). Add the beef and brown it all over, about 5 minutes. Once the beef is brown, add the onions and carrots. After the onions start getting translucent (about 5 minutes), add the bay leaf, mushroom, thyme, beef stock and red wine. Simmer covered for an hour or so, or until the beef is super tender. This will depend on the size of your beef chunks.
Once the lid is on the beef, put the unpeeled garlic cloves in the oven at 350 degrees and let them roast for about 45 minutes, or until they get soft and brown spots appear on the skin. When this happens, pull them out and peel the cloves, taking care not to burn your thumbs. While the garlic is roasted, wash the cauliflower and discard and leaves and whatnot. Cut the cauliflower into small chunks (I cut it into slices and the break up the slices) and steam until easily pierced by a fork. It’s okay if the cauliflower gets a little overdone.
When the beef is almost done, put the roasted garlic in the food processor and chop it up for about 30 seconds. Then add the cauliflower, salt, and duck fat and blend until smooth. I have a mini food processor, so I did 2 batches, one each with 7 garlic cloves, and half of the salt, duck fat, and cauliflower.
It’s finally starting to be fall here…almost. Hopefully it will cool down (below 75 degrees would be nice) so that warm wintery dishes like this are more enjoyable