Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Simply Beef Stew
I think this is one of my favorite comfort foods.
And one of the few "soups" that Sir Sportsalot likes to eat. He's not a soup person. I am. So when I find one that he enjoys I get really excited.
This is a basic recipe. One that I found some 20+ years ago in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (I really use this cookbook a whooooole heck of a lot). I don't do anything fancy schmancy with it.
Just beef and veggies.
I'm sure most of you have your own beef stew recipe that you enjoy. I'd love to hear about your version. What do you do differently? What do we do that's the same?
I start off with same the basic ingredients. Sometimes the veggies vary, but not by much. Maybe instead of broccoli I use green beans. I may have put zucchini in it a time or two. Whatever you like will work.
One thing that I do is add more beef than the recipe calls for. I like it thick and I like it beefy. This time instead of stew meat, I used boneless chuck. It was on sale and was cheaper per pound than ground beef. You can't beat that!!
1 1/2 lbs stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon shortening
3 cups hot water
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 potato, peeled and cut into pieces
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
1 medium bell pepper cut into chunks
1 medium stalk of celery, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp brown bouquet sauce (I never measure....just pour a bit in)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons flour
In a heavy pot, melt the shortening and brown the meat. If you want a better browning, do what Julia Child suggests....dry the meat first with a paper towel.
Add the 3 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beef is almost tender. Depending on what kind of meat you use, this takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. With the chuck, it was more like 1 1/2 - 2 hrs.
Stir in all the veggies, bouquet sauce, more salt to taste, the bouillon cube and bay leaf. You may need to add a bit more water. I think I ended up adding another 1/2 cup or so. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender. They say about 30 minutes but for my liking, it usually takes a bit longer.
In a container with a secure lid, combine 1/2 cup cold water and the flour and shake to combine. Don't bother trying to just stir it together, it doesn't work (trust me...I've tried). You end up with lumps. Save yourself the stress and just shake it baby....shake it.
Gradually stir it into your stew. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
And you're done!
It might look like I added too much liquid but it thickens as it sits. And the next day (when the leftovers are devoured) there's hardly any liquid left. Besides...don't you wanna sop it up with a nice chunck of bread?
Now I know most of you are familiar with Debs Souper Sundays over at Kahakai Kitchen. I keep forgetting to join in all the fun! But not this time!! So if you like soup and salads and sandwiches....check out her blog on Sundays and see what everyone has cooked up! You're sure to find something or most likely, many things that will catch your fancy.