Beef and boots

Lord and Taylor had a 40 percent off sale, plus I had the 20 percent off coupon from the paper, and on top of that I was one of the first 250 customers at the door, which meant there was a man standing there handing out coupons for another 15% off.  Mama is feeling pretty good at the moment.  You know what screams Spring to me?  A pair of knee hi Wellies like the Queen wears, along with a pound of “natural” ground beef; and that is exactly what I bought.  (Are other cows not natural?  Now that I have the boots, I can go and have a look for myself.
I am tempted to make the classic Friday night treat, Sloppy Joes, except without the can.  You can’t serve dinner from a can, in a pair of classy new rain boots.  Saute a clove of garlic, whole, an onion, half a carrot, and half a stalk of celery, finely minced, in your best olive oil with a little salt, freshly ground pepper, a few red pepper flakes, a sprig of rosemary, and a bay leaf, until it cries out to you to be eaten.  It should take about 15 minutes over a medium/low flame.  Push them to the side, and add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.  Toast for about 1 minute.  Stir into onion mix.  Remove from the pan.  Add another drizzle of olive oil, and a pound of ground beef.  Season the beef, and cook slowly with plenty of attention, until the meat is nearly cooked through.  Drain, and get it back in the pan with your onion mixture.  The garlic at this point should be softened; smash it thoroughly with a fork, and stir it into everything else.   Add one or two whole plum tomates from a can that you squish first, so that there are no big bits.  If you have homemade chicken stock, add about 1 cup.  (If not, a half cup of dry red wine).  Or both.  If you have the boots on, go for it.

Let this simmer for about an hour, adding a little more liquid if you need to.  Serve over a toasted slice of thick, delicious bread, that has been brushed with your best olive oil.

On the side–wine, and that new Parmigiano made with buffalo’s milk at Fairway Market (74th street and Broadway) and RAIN!!!!

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