The Weekend Brawl

The Challenger: In this corner, weighing in at a lanky 140lbs with an experienced stomach, massive calves, and 28 years of eating under her belt (literally): THE HEAT!

The Contender: And in the other corner, weighing in at a deceivingly light .5lbs, almost a foot in length and about three sticks of butter: Amy's loaf of Brioche!!

ding ding!

Round 1: The Heat was hot out of the gates -slicing the brioche 1/2 inch thick, layering it in gooey Gruyere, and dunking repeatedly in a vat of hot tomato soup. But the one, two punch of a buttered exterior followed by a swift kick of truffle butter inside was too much for The Heat to handle. She had to tag in her teammate to finish what she had started - allowing her a last minute, albeit questionable victory.

Round 2: With last round being such a close call, the Heat decided to step it up with a more formidable first punch: Balsamic Lamb Stew. Thick, murky sauce dotted with a pungent kick of balsamic vinegar, stewed onions and chunky potatoes were no match for the tough end pieces of the brioche. It soaked up every last morsel - leaving the Heat high and dry, and sent her cowering back to the corner for a towel off and a sip of wine.

Balsamic Lamb Stew
  • 3T. olive oil
  • 3lbs. lean lamb stew meat, well trimmed and cut into 2" cubes
  • 3T. all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 medium onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3T tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bouquet garni of fresh rosemary and thyme or any combination of herbs
  • 1 cup of a bold red wine
  • 2.5 cups of beef stock (or lamb stock if you can find it)
  • 2 medium boiling potatoes cut into chunks or a handful of small potatoes
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  1. Bring stew meat to room temperature before cooking - it helps it to sear properly. Dry meat with paper towels and add to a plastic bag.
  2. Add the flour and a few cracks of salt and pepper to the bag and shake (Shake and Bake style) to evenly coat the meat with the mixture.
  3. Meanwhile heat up the 3T of olive oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Sear each piece of meat in the hot oil, allowing it to bubble and brown slightly on all sides - about 6-7 minutes. Do so in shifts to avoid crowding the pan.
  5. Remove the lamb and add your onions and carrots until the onions are translucent.
  6. Stir in the garlic, followed by the tomato paste, toasting them on the bottom of the pan for about a minute.
  7. Add the meat back to the pan and deglaze with the cup of red wine, scraping brown bits off the bottom.
  8. Add the bay leaves and bouquet garni.
  9. Pour the 2 cups of stock until almost covering the meat.
  10. Cover and let simmer over low heat (small bubbles appear at the surface, NOT boiling) for about 1.5hrs.
  11. Uncover and stir in potatoes, allowing to cook covered for an additional 30-40 minutes.
  12. Stir in 2T balsamic vinegar and serve.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, chives or a dollop of sour cream. Crusty bread and a bottle of Cotes du Rhone round out the meal.

Round 3: The contenders took a long break from each other and reconvened early in the morning. Brioche came out with a move called the French Toast, which sounded more dangerous than it was. Brioche fell apart when the Heat started throwing eggs, resulting in a soggy, un-photogenic mess. The remains were finished off by the Heat, ending in overall victory.


It was a long, drawn out fight this weekend, but the Heat polished off an entire loaf of brioche and has the stomach ache to prove it - making her question who really was the winner after all.

I'm not proud of it,
- The Heat

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

OH DEAR LORD....please make that grilled cheese for me (hold any mustard....we learned out lesson haven't we?)

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