Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Boef a La Mode (for cheap)

Today was the first day in a very long time that I posted a blog entry.  I have been following other friends' blogs for awhile and had been thinking that it would be nice to start mine up again.  After poking around here at blogspot today, I realized that they have made it much easier to insert pictures and videos into blog posts.  Back in the old days, you used to have to html a link to a photobucket account, and sometimes, if you were lucky, the photo would actually link and it would appear in the blog entry.  Other times, you just ended up with html gobbledy gook and have to start all over again or just give up.

In honor, of the new ease of photo entry, I am posting pictures of the dinner that I made tonight.  I love to cook, but I hate cooking for just me.  So, now that I am married, and my brother in law is living with us, it gives me an excuse to pull out a cookbook and make a "real" meal on Sunday evenings.  Tonight, I decided to break out the Julia Child cookbook and make Boef a La Mode.  It sounds fancy, and, well, I'm not going to lie, it was definitely time intensive, but it was worth it.  Around10 am this morning, I started by marinating some beef in a concoction of wine, onions, carrots, celery and thyme.  Every couple of hours, I would open up the fridge and turn the meat and baste it a little.  This was the bowl I used for the marinating (and yes, that is a Han Solo bobblehead in the background):

Around 5:30pm, I took the meat out of the marinade and had to dry it on a rack for about 30 minutes:

I browned the meat in a dutch oven and then added the marinade and cooked it at 350 in the oven for about 2 hours.  While it was cooking, I made a salad and roasted some potatoes and made braised carrots (which is really just boiled carrots with some butter added).  Once it was done, we served it with a fantastic wine: good old 2 Buck Chuck Cabernet.

Here is the finished product (my food photography skills probably need some improvement, but you get the idea):

How much did this delicious meal cost, you ask?  Well, it kind of depends on how you want to divide it up.  I had to buy an entire bottle of Brandy and a container of cloves and some beef boulion - but those are all staples that will remain in the kitchen for a long time to come.  On the other hand, I already had some staples, like butter and garlic.  Here are the two alternate calculations for the entire meal (including side dishes of salad and potatoes):

Meat $6.50
Wine $2.00
Bouilon $2.99  (4 tsp used) $0.40
Cloves $3.49  (2 used) $0.05
Brandy $10.00  (1/2 cup) $1.00
Potatoes $3.69  (4 used) $1.47
Lettuce $0.99
Onion $0.79
carrots $0.99
celery $1.99
cucumbers $0.99
parsley $0.99
green bell pepper $0.99
red pepper $1.00

total: $37.40

per person (4 people) $9.35

So, there you have it, a delicious Sunday dinner for 4 people for $5-$10 per person (depending on how you do the calculations).  We didn't have any leftovers, except for a little salad (which I will probably take to work with me tomorrow for lunch).  We had three grown men sitting at a table that had meat and potatoes on it - I knew there wouldn't be any leftovers.  But I am glad it was a success!

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