Back in the swing of things

Every time I travel, it takes a week or more to get back into our normal schedule.  Last weekend, we had no out-of-town guests and were even (gasp) invited out for a meal.  This weekend, things have gone back to normal.  Three boys from Shapell's are visiting with us.  A family in our community is remodeling their kitchen, so they are coming over for dinner along with three of my 15 year olds friends.  How quickly we reach 20 for dinner.  A family whose matriarch is 8 month pregnant will be with us for lunch (8+3+4 = 15 people total).

This week, I'm revisiting an old recipe I made up in college.  It is fittingly called College Goo.  It was something I could whip up that stretched the ingredients, was very filling and tasted good (to a college student on a limited budget).  Its ground meat, rice, onions, mushrooms and peas and garlic, and is usually served with soy sauce.  Quantities are very loose, so its more of a make it up as you go dish.  I usually add Cumin while I saute the onions and mushrooms.

Shabbat Parshat Vayikra
Dinner - 20
Barley and Corn Soup
Roast Chicken with Garlic
Carbonnade (Beef and Onions Stewed in Beer) (The Best Recipes in the World, Pg 385)
Rice
Boiled Potatoes
Broccoli
Stir Fried Cabbage


Lunch - 15
Gefilte Fish
College Goo
BBQ Chicken bottoms
Artichokes
Lettuce Salad
Israeli Salad
Red Cabbage

Carbonnade
3 cups thinly sliced onions
Oil for cooking (2-3 Tbsp)
1 Kilo stewing beef cut into cubes
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp Minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bottle Guinness stout

Carmelize the onions by first cooking over a medium heat in a covered pot until the start to brown.  Add the cooking oil and cook until its the onions reach a uniform brown color.  I stopped when I got a golden color, but you could take it all the way to molasses color as long as it doesn't burn!  Move the onions to a dish on the side.

Brown the beef cubes, adding salt and pepper.  When the beef is brown, add the garlic and saute for a minute or two.  Add the spices and the beer.   Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for at least an hour.

Check the consistency.  In my case, it was VERY watery (probably because I started with frozen beef).  Uncover and cook on high heat to reduce the liquid.  It should not dry out completely.

The original recipe calls for adding Dijon mustard at the final stage.  I skipped this part because it looks and smells SOOO good.  Serve over potatoes, rice or noodles.
(makes enough for 8)

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