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Friday, 22 April 2016

No Count but not no track today!

22nd April 2016
Never mind the mights, my dear, just concentrate on what you're doing. (the first Doctor Who)

Okay so I'm back to being a proper Weight Watcher today! I haven't tracked since I got weighed last week and got that 1.5lb weight loss I really wasn't expecting.  That's not why I haven't tracked, the truth is I had lunch with my bestie on Friday, then we had a sleepover Saturday which included alcohol and food, then I haven't been on track since because I was busy sorting out my new meeting, helping AnnMarie with hers on Monday, then after having my car Mot'd Monday I was skint till payday and decided to eat out of the cupboards and freezer, a few freezer surprise meals later, throw time of the month and hormones into the equation and Wednesday night freezer surprise was 1/2 tub of Ben & Jerry's that mom never finished! 

Line drawn now though and the good news is I only think I've gained half pound - phew, which proves I haven't been ridiculously bad I guess, mmm I don't know.  We shall see, but for now I'm going to start on a No Count day and have eggs for breakfast I think.

I received a lovely thank you card and gift last night which was so lovely, I was also given a cooked chicken on the morning from a lovely lady who knew I had a busy day on a Thursday and probably didn't have time to cook, I think she'd also read about my freezer surprises this week.  So thoughtful folk are, really lovely people in my life, I am blessed.

We're talking No Count in my meetings this week and the recipe below isn't a No Count recipe, you wouldn't think Beef bourguignon was really a weight loss friendly meal at all.  The beauty of Weight Watchers is you can have anything you want as long as you Smart Point it.  It also meals you can adapt a recipe to suit yourself.    For example it calls for a tablespoon of oil, that's used to fry the lardons and then the beef, you could use less or swap it for spray light.   If following no count or trying to save points you could omit the butter and use spray light cutting 18sp off the total recipe, you could also use bacon medallions instead of lardons, it all depends whether you're willing to compromise on the taste a little for results at the scales.  
Okay I'm off, got me a busy morning, a couple of errands, then off to paint a plate and have an enjoyable couple of hours with a handful of members, should be fun.

Here's the recipe, I don't think I've every cooked beef bourguignon, so maybe one day.

Beef bourguignon by Simon Rimmer From Something for the Weekend 
Serves 4-6, total Smart Points 66, serves 4 at 17sp, serves 5 at 13sp or serves 6 at 11sp

900g/2lb diced lean stewing steak, cut into 5cm/2in cubes (17sp)
500ml/17½fl oz red wine (13sp) Burgundy is good
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil (4sp)
100g/3½oz bacon lardons (10sp)
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g/1oz plain flour (3sp)
30g/1oz tomato purée (1sp)
250ml/9fl oz chicken stock
50g/2oz butter (18sp)
16 small shallots
300g/10½oz button mushrooms

To serve
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • rice, cooked according to packet instructions, or boiled potatoes (smart point the portion)
1.    Place the beef, red wine, thyme, bay leaf and garlic into a large bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
2.    Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3.
3.    Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and fry until crisp and golden-brown.
4.    Remove the beef from the marinade. Reserve the marinade liquid for later. Add the beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan.
5.    Add the onion and carrot to the same pan and fry for 5-6 minutes, until softened.
6.    Return the beef to the pan and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7.    Sprinkle with the flour, stir well and cook for a further two minutes.
8.    Add the tomato purée, stir to combine and cook for four minutes.
9.    Add the wine marinade and the game (or chicken stock) and bring to the boil.
10. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for two hours.
11. Towards the end of the cooking time, melt half of the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and fry for 10-12 minutes, until golden-brown all over.
12. In a separate frying pan, melt the remaining butter and fry the mushrooms until golden-brown all over.
13. Remove the beef casserole from the oven and carefully strain the sauce into a clean pan. Reserve the beef and vegetables. Bring the sauce to the boil and cook to reduce the volume by half.
14. Return the reserved beef and vegetables to the pan of reduced sauce and add the cooked shallots and mushrooms. Simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
15. To serve, spoon equal portions of the beef bourguignon onto warmed plates. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice or boiled potatoes.

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