Here is a simplified and delicious version of the classic french dish Boeuf Bourguignon.
All the steps are done in the same pot and then the dish goes into the oven or a crock pot to slow cook for a couple of hours. This allows for extra time to tend to other dishes or in my case, finish up some cleaning before guests arrived.
Onions, carrots, bacon, mushrooms and garlic are sauteed with fresh herbs until softened. Chunks of beef chuck roast are added to the pot and browned.
Beef stock is added to deglaze the pan and get up all the yummy browned bits of goodness at the bottom.
Then in goes an entire bottle of Burgundy Wine! Fantastic.
To house all the tasty beef stew, buttery mashed potatoes. Drool.
A festive and tasty eggnog cocktail to sip before dinner.
In a cocktail shaker, combine spiked eggnog (from the liquor store), a good splash of heavy cream, a pinch of nutmeg and some ice. Shake until chilled and pour into glasses. Beforehand, I dipped the rims of my glasses in corn syrup and then into a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious!
For dessert: Vanilla Creme Brulee
Keeping with the rich and decadent theme of this meal, I made Alton Brown's Vanilla Creme Brulee and it was excellent! This recipe is simple to make and sooo good. It's very creamy with the perfect amount of vanilla flavor. This will be my go-to creme brulee recipe!
Gotta love the crunchy sugar topping.
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped*
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepanset over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
* I used vanilla extract instead and it was really tasty. I skipped the step of letting it sit for 15 minutes and just added in the whisked egg yolk/sugar mixture when the vanilla cream came to a boil.
Click recipe to enlarge.