As you know, my hubby is a meat and potatoes fellow. But I can only cook pork so many times in a row before I can't take it anymore. On our first cold weekend in Dallas, I thought a thick beef stew would be finally be appropriate.
You can use any combination of root vegetables here. As pictured, I used three large, red potatoes (I leave the skins on because Jay loves them), some turnips I had languishing in the veggie drawer, and a few carrots my daughter's rabbits will never miss. I also added a roughly chopped onion and three cloves of garlic. Like with the pork and potatoes, I don't worry about a beautiful display of knife skills on the veggies. You do want the pieces to be roughly the same size they cook at the same rate, and larger rather than smaller so they don't go to mush.
I picked up a package of pre-cut beef (usually helpfully labeled "stew meat") from the grocery store. In a large bowl, I mixed about 3T of flour, salt and pepper to toss the beef in. You can add cayenne if you like it spicy or garlic salt if you enjoy that flavor (my family are all avid garlic salt devotees). Once you mix the dry ingredients, toss the beef in the flour to coat evenly.
Once your beef is browned on both sides, remove it to a bowl. Now deglaze the pot you're using (this just means to add liquid and scrape off all the stuck-on crunchy bits). I like to use wine, and I used red wine here. However, if you don't keep wine handy, you can use beef stock at this point.
Once your veggies are chopped, the beef is browned, and the pot or pan is deglazed, now you can add it all together. Add in a can of tomato sauce, enough beef broth to barely cover the beef and veggies, and salt and pepper to taste. Some thyme or rosemary are nice, maybe a bay leaf if you have one. Here's another trick: keep some instant coffee or a half cup leftover from your morning pot. This will add rich flavor to almost any beef dish with broth. Add in a teaspoon of instant if that's what you have, along with a splash of Worcestershire if you have some.
|Small bowl of Beef Stew with half an apple leftover from lunch. YUM!|
And, just to show you all that I do actually eat all that I cook, I took a picture of my lunch I packed for work yesterday.
|Curried Pumpkin Soup (from the pumpkin puree), sourdough bread, and some refrigerator pickles I made a few weeks ago. For me, this is a perfect light lunch for work when I don't want to get sleepy.|
The recipe for Beef Stew is after the jump...
- One package beef "stew meat"
- 3T fat/oil (not butter)
- 3T flour
- 4 cups (it can be a bit more or less, as you like) root veggies, roughly chopped. Any variety of potato (but probably not sweet potato), peeled or unpeeled as you like, turnip, carrot, parsnip, etc...
- 1 onion (roughly chopped)
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced, depending on how much garlic you like
- one cup red wine (optional, but it enhances the flavor)
- 4 cups beef broth (I like the Better than Bouillon paste, but if you don't get that, at least get some beef stock in a carton rather than in a can)
- 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
- salt and pepper
- bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme or rosemary
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (or you can throw in the leftover from your morning pot, about 1/2 cup)
- 1T Worcestershire sauce