Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A New York Sunday Dinner for Six

November 18, 2012
  • Easier Beef Burgundy
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Creamy Chocolate Pudding
  • Glenora Yellow Cab Red Table Wine 
  • Castel Grisch Finger Lakes Estate Reserve Burgundy
As those of us north of the equator are heading into the colder months of the year, we have headed to colder climes to spend Thanksgiving with family in Central New York. As the weather gets colder heartier fare becomes more and more appealing, warm rich food to fuel the body and keep us warm and comfortable. Chef John at Food Wishes must have been thinking the same thing a few weeks ago as he re-published an older video recipe for an easier version of Beef Burgundy. So even though I wasn't home but rather staying with one of my sisters, it was Sunday so I volunteered to cook dinner, and beef stew, for that is what Beef Burgundy is, sounded good to all. We were joined for dinner by my dad and brother making a hearty party of six.

I made a few small changes to the Food Wishes recipe. It called for Merlot instead of burgundy, but we had no Merlot and when we went shopping, Sunday morning, we were unable to buy wine. (New York still has blue laws in effect limiting when and where you can purchase wine.) But my sister had a New York burgundy from the Finger Lakes region, Castel Grisch Finger Lakes Estate Reserve Burgundy, so I used it in the stew and also served it with dinner. I simmered the stew by placing it into a 300° oven rather than on the stovetop as this provides more even heating and lessens the chance of burning. I also added a cup of frozen peas just before serving to improve the appearance of the stew and provide another vegetable with almost no extra effort. I used three carrots, rather than two, as they were a little on the small size, and my diners thought that the stew could have used even more.

The stew was served over garlic mashed potatoes. I purchased "butter potatoes" at Wegmans, I believe these are similar to Yukon Gold potatoes, low-starch potatoes with a rich, creamy texture. Making garlic mashed potatoes is about the same as making plain mashed potatoes. The potatoes were peeled and boiled in salted water. Also added to the water were peeled garlic cloves; I used two cloves of garlic for each potato. The potatoes were drained and mashed along with the garlic. I added some melted butter (I didn't add much since it would be served with the stew), hot milk,  salt, and pepper.

For dessert I made chocolate pudding from scratch. I even planned ahead and brought some ingredients, which I thought my sister might not have, along with me from California. I should have known better, my sister is an accomplished baker and she had both Dutch processed cocoa and espresso powder. I used a Pyrex sauce pan which was a new experience for me. It worked fine but it did seem to take a little longer to heat up as it took longer for the pudding to come to a boil.

One of the great benefits of my Sunday cooking is the leftovers which make for good, easy to fix, weekday meals. This hearty Sunday dinner for six had no leftovers: no stew, no potatoes, and no pudding. It was a pleasure to fix food for my family, and for them to have enjoyed it. We'll be here next Sunday, too. What should I fix?

Easier Beef Burgundy from Food Wishes
Creamy Chocolate Pudding from Cook's Illustrated


  1. It was VERY good and I enjoyed having someone else cook a "real meal" in my kitchen and the "scratch" chocolate pudding was worth the effort in making it which didn't seem much more than the boxed version.

    Have any good recipes for pork roast? There is one in the freezer :-)

  2. When we had the leftovers I thickened it with cornstarch and put the peas in I forgot the first time. It was served with rice. We liked it better with the thicker sauce

  3. Thanks for the suggestion to add the corn starch. I thought the sauce was a little thin, too, for a stew.