Thursday, December 03, 2009

'Roid Rage???

There were a couple of domestic management mishaps around the house last week that were met with an unusual reaction, especially coming from me.

Never mind what they were exactly, but each would have normally sent me into a howling rage. You see, I’ve always had massive anger management issues. In fact, it was my temper, adrenalized might and unwillingness to back down from a fight, which prompted my best friend in high school to take up martial arts – his dad was tired of this little skatepunk going ape-shit on his kid and giving him a pretty good beating before he ran out of gas; usually over nothing significant.

Ken learned well, and has done alright for
himself in the years since.

Anyway …

So, instead of blowing my stack, flying off the handle, yelling, screaming, blaming and carrying on; I calmly said, “Well there’s nothing I can do about it right now. I’ll take care of it in the morning.”

What prompted this change in behavior???

I’d like to say that running has brought me a new, passive and reflective attitude, with less worries and strife; but that’s not it … at least I don’t think so.

It’s hormones … specifically, the LACK of hormones.

It occurred to me that we hadn’t had red meat in the house for about a month. I made a roast beef at the beginning of November, but that was the last time I could recall having anything beefy in quite some time.

If someone had told me “No red meat for a month” I would have naturally resisted. “You can’t tell ME what to eat and what NOT to!!!” Since the change was voluntary and apparently subconscious, I have no one to argue with.

I really don’t feel like arguing anyway.

I’m saying that I’m giving up cow for good either … just cutting way, WAY back. Besides, I would REALLY like to make this:

Beef and Barley Stew with Stout – from
Culinary Competitor

There are few things that take the edge off a cold winter training session like returning home to a bowl of hot beef stew with stout. This stew's primary carbohydrate sources are the yams and pearled barley. Yams are particularly high in vitamin C, and have respectable amounts of potassium and vitamin B6.

Stew beef is generally taken from less desirable cuts of meat--which here is a good thing. "Less desirable" cuts are often leaner, which in the case of a slow-cooked meal is a non-issue as the meat will be plenty tender and full of flavor. It is very important for athletes to maintain iron levels, especially during the winter months when training miles can be pretty big, and the occasional serving of red meat is a great way to do so.

I love to cook a double batch of this beef stew on a Friday night (then I can drink a few of the stouts that go into making it in the process....), and round up the boys after a big day on Saturday to eat all the leftovers. My stout of choice for this stew is
North Coast Brewery's Old Rasputin. Only sold in 4-packs (it is questionable as to whether any human being could even consume 6 Rasputins...), this beer redefines stout as most of us know it. If you can get your hands on some Old Rasputins--you will not be disappointed.

1 ¼ lb lean stew beef, trimmed and cut into one inch cubes
1 large yam, cubed
1 medium celery root, peeled and cubed
½ cup pearled barley
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T fresh ginger, minced
8 cups beef broth
12 oz stout beer
2 T flour
2 T olive oil
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t allspice
1/8 t cumin
salt and pepper

Makes 4 servings.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the cubed beef to the olive oil to brown and season with salt and pepper. Cook for eight to ten minutes, until browned on all sides, and remove with a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Set aside.

Add the onion, garlic, celery root, and ginger to the pot over a medium-low flame and cook for eight to ten minutes. Add the flour and stir to form a pasty consistency. Add the stout, bring to a low simmer, and cook for about eight minutes until reduced to about 1/3 the original volume. Add the cinnamon, allspice, and cumin; stirring to combine. Add the beef broth and barley, then return the browned beef to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Simmer covered for about one hour, then add the cubed yams and cook just until soft, about fifteen minutes.


Yeah, I could pass on the abstinence for a day [plus however long the leftovers (leftovers???) would last]

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