Tag Archives: red wine

Simple Summer Sauce

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In the summer, I love to make nice chunky tomato sauce with whatever local vegetables I can get my hands on. The farmers’ market has been kind and supplied me with the perfect ingredients.

Start by heating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your favorite pot over medium heat. I use a six quart dutch oven so I have plenty of room to work with.

Dice one large sweet onion and three large carrots. Add into the dutch oven, salt well and sauté until the onion is translucent.

While the onion and carrots sauté, finely mince four to six cloves of garlic; depending of how much garlic you prefer. My family loves garlic so I use six cloves. Add into the dutch oven and sauté until fragrant.

Two green peppers, diced, get added in next. Continue to sauté until all of the vegetables are beginning to get tender.

Strain six quarts of whole tomatoes and add to the vegetables. I used canned tomatoes from our pantry; whatever you have in your pantry will work. Stir well and break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Add in one cup of your favorite red wine. I had a beautiful bottle of Merlot on hand that my husband’s coworker, a winemaker, had given us. Always cook with a wine you enjoy drinking and you can not go wrong.

Bring to a boil and immediately turn the temperature down. The sauce should barely be at a simmer. Continue to simmer for two to three hours. This gives the flavors generous time to marry and also allows the sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add in some fresh thyme, basil and oregano. I used fresh picked from my herb garden, but herbs from the farmers’ market, store bought, or in a pinch dried herbs will work also. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

As is, this makes a nice chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender until it reaches the desired texture. The recipe makes enough for three batches, one to enjoy and two to freeze for future enjoyment.

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Crock Pot Roast & Root Vegetables

This is a meal to welcome you home on a long, cold, dreary day. From the moment you walk in the house, the warm aroma will begin to comfort your body and soul. Once you plate it and begin to enjoy, it will warm you to the core.

To start, the night before get a skillet hot and add in some extra virgin olive oil. I used one infused with mushroom and sage to form the first layer of flavor. Sear the roast well on all sides, let cool and transfer to the fridge for overnight storage.

Also, to make the morning rush easier, all the root vegetables can be chopped up the night before. Chop four large carrots, six turnips, two large parsnips, two large onions, and peel five cloves of garlic. Leave the root vegetables on the large side or the will get mushy. Feel free to mix up the vegetables with whatever you have on hand. Once chopped they join the roast, in a seperate container, in the fridge.

In the morning, before heading off to work, place the roast in the crock pot and surround with the vegetables. Season well with sea salt, black pepper, and ground garlic scape.

Add in one cup of your favorite red wine. If you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it! Also, one cup of beef broth.

This is what awaits you when you arrive home, after simmering on low seven hours while you were away. How I wish I could share the smell with you. Earthy, hearty, irresistible aromas will assault you immediately!

Next, to make the gravy. It only takes ten minutes or so! Heat a skillet over medium heat on the stove top. Four nice size ladles of the juices go in.

Mix three tablespoons or so of cornstarch with a half cup of cool water and pour into the broth. The cool water will prevent the gravy from lumping while the corn starch thickens it. Whisk constantly as the gravy begins to thicken.

When the gravy has reached this rich, deep, dark brown and thickened nicely it is ready. This savory gravy adds an amazing depth to the meal. The deep red wine and earthy vegetable and beef drippings marry marvelously.

On this night, I served it up with some dairy free smashed red potatoes that I made prior to starting the gravy. One more layer of comfort in my book. Comfort sums this wonderfully warm meal up well.


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