Monday, December 8, 2008

Dark Days of Winter Challenge - week 3

Oops, I am behind in posting! I blame it on Neverwinter Nights: Storm of Zehir. I've been glued to it for days.

This week's meal is my number one comfort food: creamed chipped beef on toast. My mom always made it from scratch when I was a kid, but in recent years I have come to rely on the Stouffer's version. I know it violates the "no processed food" rule, but I usually only eat it when I'm sick, or recovering from being sick. Comfort food has its own set of rules.

This dish was actually inspired by the restaurant Alana's, which is arguably the best restaurant in Columbus. We ate there a few weeks ago, and one of the starters was my old standby, listed as: Blues Creek Farm Chipped Beef 'Shit on a Shingle' with Gravy on Toast. Once I picked myself up off the floor from all the laughing, I promptly ordered it, and it was delicious. Since Blue's Creek is the butcher shop I frequent, I decided to try it at home.

The main problem, as you can see, is that I made the roux way too thick. I was starving and didn't feel like playing the too thick/too/thin/just right lotto, so I quit fussing with it and served it. The chipped beef was astonishingly not salty - I actually had to salt the dish! The beef, bread, milk and butter were all local; the flour was not.

How did it stand up to the classic? For one thing, it had much more of a beef flavor. The meat tended to shred, so the texture was a bit different as well. Still, it was delicious, and I could easily get accustomed to this new version of my old favorite.

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