Some Healthy Food Fun:    Dinner and a Movie
Horatio Hornblower

On the Menu  Midshipman's Beef Stew
Video   Clips from the episodes "The Duel" and "The Fire Ships", bonus "Hornblower in Action" collage put to music, how to make Beef Stew

"Quickly Now !!!!!"
      --Horatio Hornblower


Okay, this one is for me and the guys. Every now and then, my "Dinner and a Movie" is gonna be a pure "guy thing". I'll be putting out enough "chick flicks" in Dinner and a Movie to accommodate the "fairer sex", but this one is for my machismo side.

Horatio Hornblower is my hero. Plain and simple. I have always been a fan of The History Channel and A&E. Growing up, whatever reason, after NFL football was through on Sundays, I was turning the channel to see what was on Masterpiece Theater. To this day I don't know what was up with me and those low budget, kinda dry, British TV shows.

Anyhoo, when the new Horatio Hornblower series came out on A&E, it was incredible to me, in that they put a decent amount of cash into recreating the Napoleonic era British sailing culture. My fascination with history got me into their attention to detail in piecing together the Hornblower series.

Hornblower was originally a series of novels by C. S. Forrester written beginning in the late 1930's. The books basically track the journey of a fictional naval seaman Horatio Hornblower.

The A&E series stars Ioan Gruffudd, you can catch him in the movie Titanic if you look closely at the boat that plucks Kate Winslet out of the water.



In one the clips below, from the episode "The Fire Ships", Hornblower orders one of his men to slaughter a bullock for the men. So, for this episode of "Dinner an a Movie" I am going to prepare a more modern, chic, stylized concoction from that bullock, I call it Midshipman's Beef  Stew.


Midshipman's  Beef Stew


3 lbs boneless grass fed chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp freshly ground organic pepper
2 organic yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks


1/4 cup gluten free flour
3 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
3 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp organic dried rosemary
1 organic bay leaf


1/2 tsp organic dried thyme
4 organic carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch slices
2 stalks organic celery, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large organic russet potatoes, peeled and cut in eighths
fresh organic parsley to garnish




--On medium-high heat, add the coconut oil to a large heavy pot (one that has a tight fitting lid).
--When it begins to smoke slightly, add the beef and brown very well. Do in batches if necessary. Add the salt and pepper as the beef browns.

--Once browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon set aside.
--Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened.
--Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring often.
--Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
--Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flour will start to thicken the wine as it comes to a simmer.

--Simmer wine for 5 minutes, and then add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and the beef.
--Bring back to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on very low for about 1 hour.
--Add potatoes, carrots, and celery, and simmer covered for another 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.
--Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the fresh parsley.

I think my connection with Hornblower is that although we grew up centuries apart, we were on the same psychological track as we went from boys to men. He was a scrawny 17 year old midshipman, I was a scrawny, 17 year old college freshman. He fought Frenchmen and pirates on the high seas, I fought the pirates of Corporate America who were trying to sink my "spiritual ship".

Fortunately, both me and Hornblower eventually came into our own, braver, bolder, brimming with self confidence, and always on the attack.

They haven't got to "Admiral Hornblower" in the A&E series, so there is still more to come. The same with me, the best is yet to come. I can relate to the comment he made at the very end of "The Fire Ships" when someone asked why he was in such deep thought, and Horatio said, "I was thinking on the distances I've traveled, and yet how far there is left to sail".

Having left Chicago almost 3 years ago, working in Cleveland, Hartford, Portland, and God knows where next, I can totally dig where he's coming from. My adventure continues.


I'm not a big fan of someone taking my favorite movies and dubbing and splicing and adding music, but the clip below was done so well, I had to include it. It is basically a collage of Hornblower actions shots, dubbed to some rock and roll. It shows my boy in action. Pretty good stuff. ~dw~

posted to: Freaky Fridays,fat tuesdays,traditional tuesdays

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