Saturday, November 07, 2009

Comfort Food -- Beef Stew

Well, the rains have really started in the Northwest now, so I really needed some comfort food this week. On Thursday, I decided that beef stew was in order. The DH was glad I got that bee in my bonnet because he really likes the stew I make. I don't have an exact recipe, but here's the gist of it.

Beef Stew

2 lb stew meat (it's by all the other cuts of beef and says "beef for stewing" on the package)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion
2-3 stalks of celery
1/4 C olive oil
2 T. butter
3 large potatoes
2-3 cups of diced carrots (I use a medium size bag of mini carrots or 3-4 large carrots)
flour, salt, and pepper
Red wine (I have no clue what I buy, but it's always cheap)
2 Quarts Beef stock
2 tsp Sage
Bay leaf
More salt and pepper

Get out a big ziplock back and put about 1/2 to 3/4 C flour, 1-2 T Salt and a few teaspoons of pepper in it. You can put some cornstarch in there with it too if you like. It makes the stew get a little thicker. Mix that all together and then throw all the meat in the bag. You may want to cut the meat into smaller pieces before dredging in the flour mixture, but that's up to you.

In a large stew pot, mix olive oil, butter, garlic, onions, and celery and cook on medium-high until onions are transparent. Pull meat pieces out of bag and put into pot and brown with the stuff that's already in there. This takes 10-15 minutes and you can chop carrots and potatoes while the meat cooks.

When the meat is brown, pour in 1-2 cups of red wine. It should boil up really quickly and you'll smell the alcohol burn off. Scrape the bottom of the pan while the wine boils to get the yummy flavorful bits from the meat off the bottom of the pan. This is critical to the tastiness of the stew.

Pour in Beef stock and add carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, and sage. This is a good time to add a bunch more salt, maybe a couple tablespoons, and some pepper. My mom always worries about putting too much salt in and it's rubbed off on my. I never put quite enough in, but everyone can add their own at the table.

Let all this simmer together for an hour or two. You can thicken it more with some corn starch if you'd like. If you do that, then put 2-3 T. cornstarch into 1/4 of COLD water. Make sure the water is cold and the cornstarch won't get lumpy. Then pour that into the stew and let it boil up again to thicken.

Eat with some crusty bread.

1 comment:

boisegrammy said...

This is making my mouth water. You really are becoming quite the cook.