Sunday, January 13, 2013

Beef Stew

beef and lots of veggies
I admit that I'm partial to one-dish meals, or at least to meals that have all the important food groups in them. Although I may add a salad and some good bread, I don't need to, and that makes me feel as if I'm getting away with something.

This year, the family that farms across the street from me gave me a selection of meats as a holiday gift. They raised the animals themselves. I decided to start with the stew beef because I knew exactly what to do with it, and I had all the ingredients. My stew is heavy on vegetables and long on cooking, but it's incredibly tasty and the meat is tender. Also, it's not really heavy and doesn't sit in your stomach like a lump.

This stew uses the following ingredients:

1 lb. stew meat, cut into relatively small chunks, say 1" cubes
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 large onion
2 large potatoes
2-3 carrots
1 parsnip
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

I start by searing the meat quickly in a large frying pan. I sear it in batches so it does not steam, and I don't sear it on all sides; just enough to create a caramel glaze in the pan. Then I throw the pieces into a large deep covered sauce pan and deglaze the fry pan with the broth. I add the broth, wine, and bay leave to the meat and simmer at very low heat for about an hour and a half. The surface of the liquid should barely bubble.

Now cut up the onions, potatoes, carrots, and parsnip. (I cut them relatively small so I don't have to use a knife when I eat.) Throw those in the pan and add a bit of water, about 1/2 c. to a cup. Simmer slowly for about an hour. Then add the frozen vegetables and cook about 20 minutes longer. After the frozen vegetables finish cooking, add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Like most stews, this improves after sitting overnight.

1 comment:

  1. making beef stew tonight, and i am pretty sure i developed this love from you. my recipe is similar, except that i add a little garlic, chicken broth instead of beef broth, and probably a little heavier on the parsnips. otherwise i wind up with a leftover bag of parsnips and they stare at me until i do something with them...