Monday, October 21, 2013

Classic Beef Stew

Oh finally fall is here! The temperature has cooled off, we are getting some rain and the sun is setting just a little bit earlier each night.Houses in the neighborhood are decorated for Halloween and I have seen some really cute fall wreaths that are inspiring me to create my own.All in all I think everyone in the South loves a little cooler weather; even if it is only in the low 70s, people still break out the hoodies. Michael especially loves cold weather because of all the soups and comfort food I make. First on his want list is Beef Stew. Other than pot roast beef stew is his favorite and of course it is one of my LEAST favorite!Not only do I not really enjoy the flavors but good grief, have you ever made beef stew? It takes nearly 4 hours and this is some labor intensive cooking I'm talking about, no just pop it in the oven and let alone stuff. But I love to see him enjoy my cooking and there is really no better way to spend an afternoon than cooking, so let's do it!

At the farmers market I picked up a delicious little beef roast from knowing full well I would be making one ofhis two top choices pretty soon. I haven't tried anything else from their farm but from the quality of that roast I will be sure to pick up some other items from them next time. Great stuff!Now I'm not much for watching tv, but I could seriously have a problem when it comes to watching cooking shows. And I said cooking shows with actual cooking in mind; I'm not talking about the ridiculous crap that's on these days, but more instructional and helpful stuff that's out there. I use Netfilix to get the tutorials I like most, one of which is hosted by . She is fantastic and actually pretty funny. Her recipes are made to feed a family of boys with tips on how to make these meals quickly and affordable. Though I'm not feeding an entire family of boys yet, cooking for Mike is almost at the same level. He loves her recipes so much that her book showed up as a surprise gift for me. Haha I got the hint. Her beef stew recipe is a go-to now.

The ingredients are half of what her recipe calls for and still makes a million servings. Ok we all know it's not a million but it is plenty for 3 meals for 2 people each having monster portions.

* 1.98 lbs Winters Family Beef roast

* 5 gold potatoes peeled and chopped

* 1/4 cup red wine (which she says is optional but I say it's mandatory)

* 8 baby carrots chopped (her recipe calls for large carrots peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks, but I had baby carrots which are already peeled so I don't see a difference. Also I have a horrible time trying to measure while cutting food so I do a bite test - if it's a size I would like when I take a bite it's good)

* 2 celery stalks, chopped: half finely diced and half sliced into bite appropriate size (1/4 inch slices according to Lucinda)

* 1 onion, chopped

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 tablespoon tomato paste

* 1 tablespoon butter

* 4 cups beef broth

* 3/4 teaspoon thyme

* Small scoop of flour to coat meat

* Salt and pepper to taste

SUGGESTION would be not to put the onion, celery, carrot and garlic all together in a bowl like you see in the picture because they all go in at different times. I just hate doing a million dishes after 4 hours of cooking :) keep it simple!Also KEY POINT is if you are prepping everything at once, you will need to submerge the potatoes in water so they don't brown while you're cooking everything else.

1. Coat the meat in salt, pepper and flour. Brown in a large with a bit of safflower oil at medium-high heat. Make sure to do this in sections so you don't over crowd the pot.2. When meat is finished and set aside add onions , garlic, carrots and diced celery. Cook on medium-low until lightly caramelized3. Stir in tomato paste and thyme for 2 more mins4. Turn heat to high. Add wine, meat, and broth and bring to a boil. If liquid doesn't cover the meat then just add some more of either or water.5. Drain the potatoes and add them and sliced celery to pot. Cook until tender, at least 30 mins.After finished she took out some potatoes and mashed them then added back in the thicken, but mine was fine without that step. I like it more soupy and Mike served his over MORE potatoes!

Yummy! And this gave us leftovers for days.
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