Tuesday, January 12, 2010

100 Cloves of Garlic

Have you ever had the urge to go to the extreme? Try something so outrageous that you just know it won’t work? And no, I’m not talking about sports. The last adventurous sporting event I did was whitewater rafting on the James. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Never again.

I’m talking about cooking. This weekend I pawed through The Olive and The Caper cookbook by Susanna Hoffman and tried Skordostoumbi. This recipe called for 100 cloves of garlic. Yes, you read that correctly…100. I really like garlic and so does my hubby, but did we have what it takes to prepare and consume a dish with 100 cloves of the aromatic bulb? Could it possibly turn out to be yummy? Would our friends and co-workers talk to us or hang around us the following day? We said who cares?

And now I will share our plunge off of the deep end. I ever-so-slightly modified the recipe.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 ½ - 3 pounds boneless beef roast (I used bottom round), cut into 2 inch chunks

100 garlic cloves (8-10 heads), separated and peeled

48 Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

4 cups dry red wine (something you would not mind drinking) Note: It will take more than one bottle

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 bay leaves (home grown!)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried basil (home grown this Summer and dried)

Egg noodles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot begin searing beef in batches until browned all over. Place browned beef chunks in a heavy enameled pot.

Pour the wine into the hot skillet and deglaze the pan. Add the garlic, olives, tomato paste, bay leaves, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste. Pour the liquid over the beef in the enameled pot. Add the dried basil and stir.

Place top on enameled pot and put in oven. Cook the beef for 2 – 2 ½ hours, stirring the mixture every half hour to begin incorporating the softened garlic into the wine to form a sauce. When the beef is tender and the garlic has started to breakdown, take pot out of the oven and set aside with lid still on to rest. Boil egg noodles. When the noodles are done, drain and serve the beef over the noodles.

We really enjoyed this dish. It was garlickly, but nothing we could not handle. The garlic melted into a thick sauce and the beef fell apart when prodded by a fork. We drank glasses of 2006 The Prodigal Son Petite Sirah from The Big House Wine Company.

The next night I placed the leftovers in a big pot, added 3 cups of beef broth, 3 cups of water, a chopped up carrot that I needed to use and let the mixture simmer. Once it was hot I threw in ¾ cup brown rice and let the mixture simmer until the rice was cooked. Now I had a rich, thick, meaty soup. Yummy. And we once again took the meal to the extreme by enjoying it with a 2000 Chateau La Galiane Margaux. The wine had just a hint of barnyardiness. The olives countered this aspect perfectly.

Amazing what 100 cloves of garlic can produce. And great dishes for Winter.
I submitted this post to Grow Your Own.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

That looks like an awfully tasty stew! I like that you use your own homegrown bay leaves in it. Didn't know you could grow such things at home.

Since you are using homegrown ingredients in your stew, would you like to enter this post into our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full details at


Downtown Foodie of Richmond said...

Wow! That looks soooo goood! I love garlic, too! We tried a recipe at my house by Ina Garten that had 40 cloves of garlic and we thought we were doing something. Ha! It's something about that wine that intensifies and mellows all at once as it blends the flavors. The Ina Garten recipe was great! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-with-forty-cloves-of-garlic-recipe/index.html.

Where'd you buy your bay leaf plant, by the way? Do you have a full-sized tree? I'd love to get my hands on a plant. I love my herb garden. We, unfortunately (I can thank my mom for this one), still have our herb garden outside and the thyme, as it has for years, is still kicking!! That stuff has survived the toughest winter yet and it's still bright green!

Anyway, now that my novel's done, thanks for the recipe!

pjpink said...

Nate - Thanks! I'll check out your blog.

Downtown Foodie - I got my bay leaf plant at the Maymont Herb Event last April. We planted it in a container and had to bring it inside once the weather got cold. Ours is a little over a foot high.

Zach J said...

I'll definitely be reproducing this, thanks for the recipe. Just recently my wife and I made a dish entitled Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic--it was awesome. I'm a bit of a garlic junkie and like you, care not what others think of me the day after.

small house plans said...

I love garlic! Whenever I cook something that has garlic in it, I make sure that I put a lot of it! I find it tastier!

BaconGrease said...

Looks great, will have to try it.

Ms. Meza said...

Sounds like a great idea for wintertime! I love the double use of the dish, my husband isn't good with leftovers so I am always looking for ways to re invent dishes. thanks for the comments on the Prodigal Son as well...one of theirs I have yet to try.