Let me start with this week's Adventures in Monotangles Challenge - this time the challenge was to use a pattern called "Rick's Paradox" which apparently gives a lot of people fits, and to use it in a non-standard way. Since all of this is new to me, I first had to practice, practice, practice - and yes, it can be complicated to work out (and fun!) - I had less fun trying to use it for shapes with more than four sides (or leess, in the case of circles, which come out looking vaguely cabbage-rose-like). Once again, I am sharing three attempts:
The first shows some of the various standard ways this pattern can be used with squares. The second shows a much more free-form way of working with it - a lot of looser sections divided into curved 3 or 4 sided shapes, and a few tries with circles. For the last one, I used a loopy cursive L (for Lynda, of course) as a string, and then worked Rick's Paradox into the resulting areas - and the L completely disappeared! I liked the result, but honestly, I prefer working this pattern in it's more standard configurations.
One thing I'm learning amongst those who do this Zentangle style doodling is the mantra "There Are No Mistakes" - its a philosophy I try to follow in cooking too - if something isn't working as planned, then alter the plan and work it out. It's just a shift in course, not an irredeemable error. It doesn't work 100% of the time - if you burn your dinner to charcoal nuggets, or a deer breaks into your dining room and dives face first into your bowl of salad (this actually happened to a friend of mine once!) - then shifting course MAY mean ordering pizza, but for the most part, it works once you understand the basics of cooking.
Last night's dinner involved a few changes of path - the lovely chuck roast I had was supposed to spend a day in the crock pot with some homemade barbecue sauce to become some barbecued pulled beef.
About 1pm or so, it was pretty obvious that wasn't happening. I could have tried it in my cast iron dutch oven but even at that, it would have meant getting out to the kitchen right then, and putting together the barbecue sauce and... uh... I was lacking numerous ingredients on that particular list, so no, not happening. (and not buying commercial, because if there is a brand that isn't filled full of HFCS and a half dozen other sugars, I don't know what it is).
I recalled that we had purchased Tender Grassfed Meat on our last trip to the farm - which is a true goldmine of recipes and techniques for ensuring one's grassfed beef, bison and lamb come out perfectly - grassfed meats don't cook the same way as factory meats, so for me it's been a matter of unlearning what I thought I knew. All the recipes in this look so delicious, I think Michael and I are both tempted to just slowly work through the entire book.
There are a couple of recipes for chuck roast - one requiring an overnight marinade (so not doable), and one called "Gypsy Pot Roast - Bohemian Style" that involved a rich Paprika sauce with a couple other spices, including allspice, which I did not have.
I used the cooking technique, and tossed in my own selection of spices - we like spiciness, and this reminded me a lot of my Gulaschsuppe recipe, so I was on comfortable ground here. I also added potatoes (totally optional) because I adore potatoes in paprika sauce - these could be switched for sweet potatoes, or left out entirely. If you like bell peppers (I don't) they would also work well with these flavors. The result is a rich, heady, and spicy-hot pot roast inspired by the recipe in Tender Grassfed Beef - if you haven't got that book yet, I encourage you to get it. Good, good stuff there.
Here's my version:
Bohemian Pot Roast
1 3-lb. grass-fed chuck roast
2 T. sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 T. hot Hungarian Paprika (this is HOT - use less if you're not sure if you'll like it - you can add later, but you can't subtract)
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice
2 T. pastured butter or ghee
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed, ends removed, and coarsely chopped (no need to peel)
1 1/2 cups homemade bone broth
2 T. pastured butter or tallow
4-6 red potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, cut in quarters
1 T. arrowroot, mixed with 1 T. filtered water (opt. - see below)
Mix the dry spices together, then add to a mixing cup containing the broth - whisk together until well blended and set aside.
In a large heavy pot (I used cast iron), melt butter or ghee on medium heat, and then brown the chuck roast on all sides, sprinkling each side with coarse salt. Once browned, add onion and carrot chunks, trying to work them down into the side of the beef, then pour the spice-broth mixture over all. Daub the meat with thin pats of butter or tallow. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cover.
Let this cook about 1 1/2 hours (chuck benefits from long slow cooking - so going longer is fine! It should be falling apart tender by the time you serve it), then add potatoes, stirring a bit to coat the potatoes with the sauce. Cook another 1/2 hour or so, until the potatoes are tender.
At this point, we served it - the sauce was thick and rich and all the flavors were vibrant. However, the book (which does not add potatoes) suggests that if the broth is still thin and the onions and carrots have cooked down to mush, that's fine - they add thickness if they're disintegrating into the sauce. But additionally, you can use the optional arrowroot mixture to create some thickening. (I suggest actually dishing out about a 1/4 cup of the hot broth and mixing your arrowroot slurry into that in a small bowl until it blends and pouring that into the pot, rather than putting it straight in - saves you from lumpy mistakes!)
I'll be having some more of this tonight as leftovers - and I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing how the flavors have blended after a day!
Shared with: Adventures in Monotangle 2
Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Wonderful Food Wednesday, The Creative Spark, Fluster's Creative Muster Party, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Seasonal Celebration Wednesday, Show & Tell Wednesday, 2 Girls and a Party Linky Party, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Thursday's Treasures, Thursday Favorite Things, Transformation Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Hookin' Up With HoH, The HomeAcre Hop, Eat-Pray-Love Linky Party, Creative Juice, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday, Rattlebridge Farm Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Gluten Free Friday, What I Am Eating, Freedom Fridays, Frugal Fridays, Pin Me Linky Party, Show and Tell Friday, Your Great Idea Link Party, Sweet Saturday Link Party, Simply Natural Saturday, SHOW-licious Craft Showcase, Creative HomeAcre Hop, Think Pink Sunday, Show Off Linky Party, Sunday School Blog Carnival, Creative Bloggers Party Hop, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Craft-Create-Inspire Blog Hop, Busy Monday, Craft-O-Maniac Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Made By You Monday, Make It Yourself Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Maniac Monday, Marvelous Mondays, Mix It Up Monday, Monday Funday, Mondays with Countrified Hicks, Mop It Up Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Motivate Me Monday, Motivated Monday, Natural Living Monday, Nomday Monday, Thank Goodness It's Monday, Tutorial Tuesday, You're Gonna Love It, Tuesday Greens, Time to Sparkle, Backyard Farming Connection, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Scratch Cookin' Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Fat Tuesday, Family Table Tuesday.