2986. BEEF STEW with BACON and BUTTERNUT SQUASH

yields six servings

3 pounds beef chuck
Kosher salt and black pepper
olive or vegetable oil
6 slices good quality, lean, smoky bacon, chopped 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, divided
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 12-ounce bottle hard cider or 1 cup sweet vermouth
2 fat strips orange rind
1 quart beef stock
1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
a little freshly grated nutmeg
about 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
about 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
warm crusty bread and butter, to pass at table

Bring meat to room temperature and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Just before cooking, season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and stir until crisp; remove to a plate. Cook meat in batches, caramelizing on all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining meat, adding additional oil if necessary. To meat drippings, add chopped carrot, celery, onion, sliced garlic, marjoram, half the thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Partially cover pot and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, then stir in hard cider or vermouth and a few fat strips of orange rind; deglaze and reduce liquid by half. Add stock then slide meat and bacon back into the pot, bring to bubble, cover and transfer to oven. Roast 2 1/2 hours. Remove the stew and let it stand, covered, while you roast squash. Raise heat to 425°F. Coat squash with oil and toss with remaining thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast 30-35 minutes, turning once, until brown at edges. Once the squash is done, remove bay leaf and orange rind from the stew. Skim fat with a spoon or paper towels. Place meat in a large shallow bowl or serving dish and stir honey and mustard into sauce. Stir in squash and serve in bowls. Pass crusty bread at table for mopping.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Rachael Ray Show, March 19, 2013?

2953. GROUND BEEF and BACON PATTY MELT MUFFALETTA

yields four servings

Mushroom Topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 fresh sprigs thyme, stripped and chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Pinch salt
Grind or two freshly ground black pepper
8 button mushrooms, sliced

Patty:1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few grinds freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp
8 ounces ground chuck
Two 7-to-8-inch-round flatbreads, such as Aladdin or Metsuyan
3 slices American cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
4 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced or torn into bits
Ketchup, for serving?For the mushroom topping: Add the butter, oil, thyme, onions, chiles, salt and pepper to a pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions are tender and the thyme is fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they lose some moisture and wilt, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and wipe out the pan to reuse.

For the patty: Whisk the Worcestershire, salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Break up the ground chuck in a separate large bowl. Gently combine the Worcestershire and the ground chuck. Form the ground chuck into a ball.

Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Place the ball of ground chuck between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. Flatten the ball to a size a little larger than the flatbreads, using a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass. Place the flattened patty in the pan and cook on one side until the edges begin to curl under a bit. Flip the patty and cook the other side to your desired amount of doneness, about 5 minutes total.

Adjust an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Place one of the flatbreads on a sheet of aluminum foil. Evenly layer the American cheese on top and sprinkle with the bacon. Place the patty on top and evenly spread the mushroom mixture on top. Place the smoked mozzarella on top. Place the second flatbread on top and tightly wrap the sandwich inside the foil and bake, flipping the sandwich halfway through the cooking process, about 10 minutes.

Remove the sandwich from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before opening. Cut the sandwich in to 4 wedges with a knife. Serve with ketchup.??bacon recipe courtesy of: Sunny Anderson, “Burgers and Dogs,” The Best Thing I Ever Made, Food Network

2866. BEEF STEW with BACON

serves six

4 oz. thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
3 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks
3/4 lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, halved if large
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1/2 lb. frozen pearl onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary?

Cook the bacon: In a large fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off the drippings into a small heatproof bowl, leaving about 1 Tbs. drippings in the pan. Set the pan, reserved drippings and bacon aside.

Brown the beef: In a sealable plastic bag, combine the flour, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the beef chunks and shake to coat evenly with the flour mixture. Return the fry pan to medium-high heat. When the drippings are hot, add half of the beef chunks and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef chunks, adding the reserved drippings if needed. Scatter the mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic on top.

Cook the stew: Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the wine, broth and tomato paste. Mix well, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Pour the contents of the pan over the vegetables and beef. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or the low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours. The beef should be very tender. Stir in the reserved bacon and the rosemary. Cook, uncovered, on the high-heat setting for 10 minutes more to thicken the sauce slightly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Slow Cooker, by Norman Kolpas; Oxmoor House, 2007