In some ways, our brains are more naive than we would like.
In study after study involving wine, people involved in blind taste tests, even those who are wine experts, believe a wine to be a better quality based on the impression that it costs more. Many people refuse to purchase generic brand products believing them to be a lower quality, even while many are the exact same formula as the name brand.
Today we have evidence of our brains being fooled again. In a Hong Kong located French restaurant, diners were presented with a pretty awful combination of tastes. In those cases where the “chef” talked with the diners about the dish and talked it up, the ratings of the dish were inflated over those without the talk. It is a pretty interesting read. Take a look here.
French Beef Stew
My very own French dining experience for you….believe me when I say it is good.
I don’t normally put thin green beans into a stew, but they work well.
Browning the meat.
Creating the broth.
Much better than that risotto from the article!
French Beef Stew
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy
1 lb lean, boneless beef round, cut into 1″ cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup dry white wine or beef broth
1 tsp dried herbs de Provence, crushed (1/4 tsp ea thyme, basil, rosemary, marjoram)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups water
8 small new potatoes
8 pearl onions, peeled
1 large tomato, peeled, cores, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp drained capers
8 ounces haricots verts or small green beans, trimmed and cut into 3″ lengths
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1) in a Dutch oven brown half of meat in hot oil on all sides. Remove meat from pan using a slotted spoon. Add remaining meat and chopped onion to drippings in pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Return all of the meat to the Dutch oven.
2) add wine to the Dutch oven, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from bottom of pan. Add herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, and the water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/4 hours or until meat is nearly tender. Add the potatoes and pearl onions. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato and capers; heat through.
3) meanwhile, in a covered medium saucepan cook haricot verts in a small amount of boiling water for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain.
4) to serve, spoon the stew into soup bowls. Serve with haricots verts and garnish with parsley.