Braised Beef Provençal; Are these cops real?

Beef ProvencalProvencal_beef

Does anyone know any real cops?

Are they witty, kind and sensitive like the gang on 'Law and Order, SVU'?

Or are they inarticulate, foul-mouthed thugs/idiots like the crew on 'The Wire'?

If there is anything in between these two gross over-characterizations, it's not on the telly… At least, not on mine.

If I were a real American cop I don't think I would be particularly thrilled about my profession's portrayal to the rest of the world.

Although, personally, I'm rather fond of both Ice-T's and Richard Belzer's characters on SVU….

As to 'The Wire':

When they were told that it was going to be on HBO did all the writer's start giggling and thinking 'Oh goodie, we get to say f***?

Do they think that interjecting f*** in between every word in every sentence uttered by every character adds depth to the show? 

Don't any of them know any other adjectives? 

Or expletives?

I'm pretty conservative by today's standards but even my language can be much more colorful than that. 

Especially lately….

Where is their creativity? 

It's not that I am against the word.  It slips past my own tongue rather far too often…. For a good girl…

But constant, repetitive use of any 'strong' word dilutes its strength.

If one says f*** when one stubs one's toe, what does one say when one drops a hammer on the aforementioned injured toe, 30 seconds later?

Surely one should have a stronger expression of pain and incredulity for the second mishap!

Some might say it adds to the ambiance of the show, puts everything in context, makes it hard-hitting, on the edge….

I find myself counting the f***'s rather than paying attention to the show.

There was one scene in which that was the only word used during an entire 120 second continuous dialogue between two cops.

I was mesmerized. 

I have no idea what the scene was about.

Someone, please, get these people a Thesaurus!

While you are pondering the state of police…. Put this in the oven to braise… 

Braised Beef Provencal

Braised Beef Provençal

24oz (750gr) beef, suitable for braising or stewing
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
4 whole cloves
1 bouquet garni
2 - 3 cups (16 – 24oz (500 – 750ml) red wine
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3oz (100gr) bacon
5 medium – large carrots
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup (4oz, 1256ml) beef stock
pinch nutmeg
3 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs water

The night before: Trim beef and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) cubes. Put into a deep bowl. Peel the onion and garlic. Cut the onion in half and stick two cloves into each half. Add to the beef along with the garlic and bouquet garni. Add the vinegar and 2 – 3 cups of red wine, enough to cover the beef. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
The afternoon of: Take the meat out of the marinade and let drain, reserving all of the marinade. Peel carrots and slice into 1/4 inch (.65cm) rounds. Cut bacon into matchsticks. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté until golden and caramelized, 10 – 12 minutes, turn using two forks or tongs. Remove carrots and set aside. Add bacon and sauté until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add beef and brown on all sides.


In a heavy baking dish (casserole), preferably deep, lay bacon on the bottom. Put the beef on top and surround the beef with the carrots, Pour the reserved marinade over all, along with the onion, garlic, bouquet garni and beef stock. Put a sheet of oiled, waxed paper over the pot and put the lid on top. Bake for 5 hours at 350F (180C). Check it every 2 hours or so to make sure it's not drying out – if it is, add more wine.
To finish: Remove from oven. With slotted spoon take everything out of the sauce and put on a small platter. Cover with the lid or foil to keep warm. Discard bouquet garni. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring until thickened. You probably won't need all of it so stop periodically and let it cook to test consistency. Spoon some of the sauce over the beef and carrots, serve the remainder on the side. Serve with a bowl of fluffy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

And the leftovers?

Provencal Beef on Pasta

Sauté some mushrooms, cut the beef, heat the sauce and toss it all with some pasta!

18 thoughts on “Braised Beef Provençal; Are these cops real?”

  1. Have you seen any episodes of “Monk”? He’s an obsessive, compulsive detective. I LOVE it! Every few weeks they’ll have a “Monk” marathon, where it’s on all day long. I pick those days to do a slow and methodical cleaning of my bedroom…where the TV is! Not a foul word has ever been uttered…at least none that I can recall. Good, clean cop fun.

  2. I really agree! The F word has become a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb. Boring and dumb. Like too much sex or too much violence, too much profanity just dumbs things down to the point where they are no longer interesting. Cindy’s right, Monk is better.

  3. Your braised beef just glistens! It must have been really tasty. I think the quality of meat is really good there, you always seem to find nice cuts.
    I love Richard Belzer’s character too! Especially when they had crossover episodes that paired him with Jerry Orbach. I loved their banter.

  4. One time, when my kids were younger, we were at a local chain restaurant. The guy at the next table was very loud and used the F word over and over and over. I thought about saying something to him, but it was a public place; still, these were young kids (and no, I’m no prude with the language I use). But then I watched my kids’ faces–they were astounded. When the guy left, I asked them if they thought he sounded cool. No, they said, he sounded really stupid. Like he only knew one word. Like he was trying to be cool but ended up sounding like a doofus.
    Guess I should have thanked the guy.

  5. That looks so tasty and I am so hungry! I saw another version of this, vegetarian with just mushrooms, this week. So it has been on my mind!

  6. I can’t remember what sitcom it was but my friend and I counted how many times they said sex and could not believe how many times in a 30 minutes show…that was playing as a rerun on something like CBS at 7PM, when her 6 year old daughter was up…nice.

  7. the f word is very present in our Dutch language. They make it sound dutch which makes it f-o-k. Dumb. I translated and asked my kids to say it in Dutch whenever they feel the urge…. They looked at me and said Mom we can’t say that word out loud! Exactly my dear, exactly.
    Lovely braised meat Katie!

  8. Even my husband who way over uses that word gets really tired of those shows and like you starts counting the times it’s said and then goes ballistic. It’s really pretty stupid and I can not for the life of me think of what an “author” could have in their head when writing a script for a show like that.
    Our neighbor is a cop across the street. We asked them if they’d like to go to a movie with us and he said no there was too much violence for him.
    The beef looks heavenly. Can we be sure to have that on the menu when I come to visit?

  9. My city has a darling police chief who is handsome in a non-classic way, witty and educated, but not in an intellectual way. I like him.
    He’s much too nice to be a cop on TV.
    BTW, that beef looks great. Maybe with a day off this week I can actually do something in the kitchen…

  10. My first French neighbor was a street cop. He became my best friend, it was hard to remember he was a cop. Until the day a street kid from the neighborhood took advantage of my ignorance of how street kids scout you out for their elders to come rob you. I never saw my friend move into cop mode so fast, having seen what was going on, coming to my rescue I hadn’t known I needed. Two completely different personalities! I don’t think bad language was a part of either his personal or professional life.
    I only watch SVU in French, and I wish it wasn’t on only in the middle of the night! I know they don’t particularly swear in French, nice to know they don’t in English, either.
    Bad language, especially repetitive monotonous bad language, is boring and shows no class. Too bad that’s what the American public is so exposed to.
    I’ve never seen The Wire. If it’s on French TV, it would be interesting to see how much they translate so much offensive language. I normally don’t get a chance to compare the two language versions to know.
    Supposedly, typical French swearing is less offensive than it is in America (although they definitely also have their strong forms). I don’t know what words little French kids get their mouths washed out with soap for using!

  11. Katie, I’ve just bookmarked this recipe for the Winter Pantry Plan!
    As for cops, I um… well.. Yea, I know a few pretty well and yup, F#$% is just about their most favorite word in the world right behind Smart A$$ (OK, that is 2 words). I know some who have world class minds and some who well would make the guy who grunts next to me on the treadmill at the gym look like Nobel prize winner in mathematics.

  12. Cindy, I have seen Monk. He was on a few years ago but only 1 season – and a hoot!
    Zoomie, there are so many really colorful expressions… why limit oneself!
    Smart kids, Amy! (they do sound like a ‘doofus’)
    Thanks Natashya, I like any show with a bit of witty banter. I hate it when the characters are ‘dumb-down’
    Thanks Gretchen, Mushrooms… Forest mushrooms… Yum!
    Shayne, I was appalled at the Viagra commercials on at 6:00 last time I was in the US!
    Baking Soda, In Ireland they changed it to ‘feck’ and everyone says it, even the priests!
    Tanna, It so looses the effect when said 23 times…
    I’m with your neighbor cop – I hate the violence. Gives my nightmares! It’s on the menu!
    Mimi, I knew there had to be normal cops, somewhere (Of course, Wisconsin)
    Azurienne, interesting about the kids – I didn’t know that. And, yes, the French can get colorful – but I don’t understand half of it… so I can’t blush (not that I would anymore, anyway…)
    Breadchick, so at least there is a variety! I rather use Smart A$$ a lot myself….

  13. I have absolutely no problem with swearing, but when all you notice in a show is the swearing, it’s probably time for the script-writers to take a step back!!
    Oh, and when I drop the hammer on my stubbed toe? I’ll be the one hopping around screaming F***ing f***ity f***!! :o)

  14. I have absolutely no problem with swearing, but when all you notice in a show is the swearing, it’s probably time for the script-writers to take a step back!!
    Oh, and when I drop the hammer on my stubbed toe? I’ll be the one hopping around screaming F***ing f***ity f***!! :o)

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