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My mother purchased stew beef and I said “I feel like I always make stews”. Nevertheless, after making it, I now remember three main reasons why I love to cook stews.

1. I don’t have to worry about multiple components being finished at the same time.

2. If dinner is delayed for some reason, the dish doesn’t become overcooked if reheated.

3. Stews are filling and nutritious, with lean meats, various types of vegetables and the antioxidants of red wine.

This recipe is based on Danielle’s

Mise en Place:

I don’t know how many it serves, but trust me, you’ll have leftovers.

  • 2 packages of stew beef from supermarket
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped white onion
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped celery
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped carrots
  • 1 bowl filled with quartered button mushrooms (Also try baby bella or cremini)
  • 5 cloves of diced garlic
  • 3 small chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 cup madeira wine
  • 2 cans (14 oz. low sodium beef broth)
  • 1 bowl filled with cut green beans

Herbs (In package together at the supermarket):

  • fresh thyme (de-stemmed)
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh sage

1. Get a large pot nice and hot, drizzle olive oil, and add the onions and celery, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent, add the carrots and about ten sprigs of time, de-stemmed and chopped. When the onions start to caramelize and the bottom of the pan shows brown bits of fond—I just love that word—, add about a cup of red wine and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

2. In a separate sauté pan, start cooking the mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, sage, salt and pepper until the mushrooms start to turn slightly golden—just 2-3 minutes. Add Madeira wine and continue to cook for a few minutes. Pour the contents into the pot and add the beef broth. Don’t forget to finish with the green beans.

3. Dredge the beef in flour and sauté with oil (olive/vegetable/canola), salt and pepper for about 6 minutes. It may take two batches for all of the meat to join the party.  As an optional step that will really impress people, cut off a piece of cheese cloth and tightly tie three sprigs of rosemary inside. This will flavor the stew without the needles falling off of the stems. It’s alright if you don’t have cheese cloth, but it is a great investment for making sachets.

4. Bring the stew to a boil and simmer with the lid for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. For another two hours, cook with a lid that is slightly ajar. This allows the stew to get hotter without a stronger flame, yet allows moisture to escape the stew. Thus, you’re left with ultra-tender meat and a stew with concentrated beef flavor, notwithstanding a better consistency.

5. The stew is finished when the consistency of the sauce and the tenderness of the meat is to your liking. I like my stew beef to be tender, but still chewable. Serve over whatever rice you prefer. The only garnish you need is a fork.

Please wipe the drool off your keyboard. That’s really disgusting.

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