Potluck Picnic in the Park!

Our May Potluck Picnic in the Park was a success! Slow Foodies gathered at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills to break bread, and dips, and fresh fruit salads, not to mention poke, cheeses, ceviche and more. Thanks to everyone who came out and shared their dishes. Please stay tuned for the next one! Have a suggestion for location? Email us at info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org.

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Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon ~ Boeuf a la Bourguignonne

We think the grand dame of French cooking would have been on board with Slow Meat and the better quality meat it produces and this lovely photo of her iconic dish served up by our own Rachel Helmer.

Ingredients

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef (cut into 2″ chunks)
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups full-bodied red wine
2 – 3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, smashed
5 – 8 twigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter, mashed together (for thickening the sauce at the end)

For the brown-braised onions
1/2 bag frozen white pearl onions, defrosted and patted dry
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup beef stock or beef broth
Salt and pepper
5 sprigs of thyme
5 sprigs parsley

For the sautéed mushrooms
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

Gather and prep your ingredients prior to cooking. Chop the bacon, chop the beef (or have the butcher do this for you to save time!), chop the veggies, smash the garlic, wash your herbs, uncork the wine. Having all your ingredients ready to go will help the preparation run smoothly.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Start by thoroughly patting the beef dry using paper towels. Damp beef will not brown properly but rather steam and turn an icky shade of gray when cooked.

In a large dutch oven pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add to this your bacon and cook for several minutes, until the bacon is browned and has released most of its fat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pan.

Over medium-high heat, brown the beef in the bacon fat for one or two minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan. The beef should quickly develop a nice caramelized brown on the surface. Turn the beef to brown on all sides, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat until all of the beef has been browned. If your meat is not browning properly the pan is either over crowded, not hot enough, or your meat is too damp. Use caution when browning the meat as the hot fat tends to spatter at times.

Once all of the beef is browned, lower the heat to medium and add the carrots and onions to the hot pan. Cook for five minutes or until they develop a golden brown color. Then, carefully pour out the excess bacon drippings, leaving the veggies in the pan.

Add the beef and bacon back into the pot. Add to that the tomato paste, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, wine and beef broth. Stir to combine. Cover and place back in the oven to cook for 3 to 3 and ½ hours.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms

For the onions:

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to allow the onions to roll around in the pan and brown on all sides. Add to the onions the beef stock and fresh herbs. Allow to come to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and simmer slowly for about 20 – 30 minutes. Check the pan towards the end of the cooking time. Most of the liquid should have evaporated and formed a brown glaze around the onions. Season with salt and pepper, remove the herbs, then set aside.

For the mushrooms:

Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the foam from the butter begins to subside (an indication that the butter is hot enough according to Julia) add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

Once the beef has finished cooking remove from the oven. Run the stew through a strainer separating the meat, herbs and veggies from the liquid sauce. Place the meat back in the pot, you don’t need to add the veggies and herbs but if some get mixed in that’s okay it will just add texture to the stew. Place the separated sauce in a pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. Excess fat with rise to the surface, use a spoon to collect and discard about half to three fourths of the fat. You should be left with 2 to 3 cups of sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add to the sauce the mashed butter and flour mixture and stir with a wire whisk over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened and smooth.

Now you are ready to combine all the ingredients, add to the meat in the pot the thickened sauce, brown-braised onions and sautéed mushrooms. Warm over medium heat and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Beef Bourguignon can be served over buttered noodles, mashed potatoes or simply with a sliced baguette.

You tube of Julia Child making Boeuf Bourguignon

Local Delegates Explore the Ethics of Eating Meat at Slow Meat 2015

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How are livestock animals raised? What are they fed? How are they processed? What is the impact on the environment and surrounding communities? What are the ethics of eating meat?

The Annual Slow Meat conference, held this year in Denver, Colorado on June 4-6, brought together producers, butchers, thought leaders and eaters of every ethos to address the conundrum of industrial animal husbandry and to celebrate the alternatives. Each year, the diverse attendees join together to take a hard look at the current state of meat and seek solutions to the problems of the industrial system. It’s part conversation, part celebration.

Joining this year’s conversation were Slow Food San Diego delegates Jaime Fritsch and Drew Deckman.

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Jaime Fritsch

Fritsch came to San Diego from Portland, Oregon in 2014 after spending his time in the Pacific Northwest living in an old homestead farmhouse, traveling to shoot commercial photos and contemplating the state of food issues surrounding his locale. Inspired by the local food movement and drawn to tough questions about what it means to be a conscious omnivore, Fritsch formed alliances with meat producers and storytellers up and down the west coast – Sean Kelley of the San-Diego based art curation group Set & Drift; Camas Davis of the Portland Meat Collective; Michael McGuan of the former Linkery; food writer and TV personality, Troy Johnson; and chef Javier Plascencia of Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada. Together they created Death for Food, an experiential exhibition that examines questions about the process of humanely bringing meat to the table.

Death for Food raises tough questions about the “right” way to harvest animals for consumption. One answer to these questions is Fritsch’s new collaborative project, MEAT San Diego. This meat collective is a group of people that organize themselves to learn about and take ownership of their roles in procuring, raising, butchering, preserving and preparing meat. By coming together as a community that supports good food values, collective members can take classes to learn about animal husbandry, humane slaughter, whole animal butchery, charcuterie, cooking, and more. Members can access local, humanely raised meat animals at a fair price that supports both them and the farmer. MEAT San Diego poses an answer to a regional logistical problem in San Diego (a three-million person metro area with no USDA slaughterhouse within hundreds of miles): how do San Diegans get the best local meat on their dinner tables? Stay tuned as the collective grows in the coming months and years ahead.

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After growing up in Peachtree City, GA and earning a degree at Rhodes College, Drew Deckman followed his passion with a ten-year culinary journey to France, Switzerland and Germany. Drew cooked with “gastro masters” such as Paul Bocuse, Jacques Maximin, Gilles DuPont and Tommy Byrne, and was awarded a coveted Michelin Star for his work in Restaurant Vitus in Germany as well as Rising-Star Chef of the Year in Berlin in 2003 during his tenure as Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Berlin (17pts Gault Millau). Back in the states, after mentoring under star-teacher and cookbook author Madeleine Kamman, Drew became a part of the final class of the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. He has since then worked in Kona, Hawaii, Cancun, Rome, Shanghai, and in Los Angeles, where he was an entertainer’s private chef.

These rich experiences and Drew’s desire to create and serve Mexican-influenced haute cuisine “drew” him to the rich shores of San Jose del Cabo as the owner and chef of Deckman’s in San Jose, and now to the Guadalupe Valley where in 2012 Deckman’s en El Mogor was born. This al fresco organic restaurant is nestled amid the Mogor Badan Winery in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja California. Drew remains dedicated to the local, sustainable ingredients in the food he sources and prepares at his restaurant, sourcing much of it from the Mogor Badan farm. He is Regional Governor for Slow Food International in Baja California and Brand Ambassador for SmartFishAC a sustainable fisheries NGO.

We are excited to hear what our delegates bring back from Slow Meat 2015! Be sure to join us at Slow Sips on June 17 from 6-8 at Carnitas Snack Shack, featuring Jaime Fritsch as our special guest and a future seafood event with Chef Drew.