Braised beef: a fall favorite

The cold weather is almost here and our Sunday family day gatherings are now starting out with sitting by the fireplace and sipping hot spiced cider (Joy’s special recipe of course). It’s a great time to get together and talk about the upcoming holidays and everyone's part in it. Of course Joy will take over and control the conversation, and my younger sister Jackie and I will let her. (We really don't care. If it makes her feel like a big shot, then go ahead! Lol)

This year Jackie will host the holiday and roast a turkey in the oven and her hubby will be outside with all the guys frying two more! We like to make a lot so everyone can take some home to have the special leftover sandwich the next day. I will make all the side dishes — the green bean bake, sweet corn pudding and all the other traditional ones — and Joy will make all the pies, apple-walnut, pumpkin and the special MaryEllen's Pecan Pie with the  secret ingredient. You have to try this one!

This discussion is taking way too long (Joy just keeps going on and on) and Jackie and I realize that we are the only two still sitting and listening to her. The rest of the family got bored and were already helping themselves to a fabulous meal perfect for a Sunday get together!

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Beef Braised in Red Wine

This meal is simple to prepare and perfect for leftover ciabatta sandwiches the next day!

2-1/4 lb boneless chuck roast

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 onion, chopped

4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups dry red wine

2 cups beef broth

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

Start by heating a heavy-bottomed pan. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder; sprinkle all over roast. Sear roast in hot olive oil until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and add butter and onion, carrots and tomato paste.

Cook 15 minutes and then return beef to pot. Add broth, wine, thyme and a splash of brandy or cognac. Simmer 2 1/2 hours until very tender.

Remove and slice and serve over mashed potatoes, rice or polenta! Enjoy!!