Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BEEF STEW


They say stew is best served the day after you make it so the
flavors have time to blend.
But I was hungry .... and I couldn't wait. 
The meat was buttery soft and super flavorful.


Braising or browning the meat is an important beginning step
to ensure a delicious flavor.


These vegetables were sauteed in bacon fat.


Add the liquid and begin the process of braising the stew until
the meat is soft enough to be cut with a spoon.
That may take 2 or more hours depending on the cut of the
meat and the size of the pieces.


BEEF STEW

2 bacon strips, cut into large dice
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a Dutch oven or large ovensafe saucepan, saute bacon until
fat starts to render.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic; cook until vegetables
 are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove bacon and vegetables
with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Discard bacon fat.

2 lbs. lean stewing beef, cut into small chunks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. vegetable oil

In a shallow dish, blend flour, salt and pepper.  Dredge beef
in flour mixture; shake off excess.  Heat oil on medium-high in
Dutch oven.  Add beef and lightly brown on all sides, working in
batches if necessary. 

1 cup beef broth
1 ½ cups water
1 cup red cooking wine
(or use beef broth)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf

Whisk broth, water, wine and tomato paste together.  Combine
with beef, vegetables and bay leaf.  Cover and bake in a
preheated 350° oven for one hour.

3/4 cup pearl onions (about 15)

To peel the onions; bring a pot of water to boil.  Blanch the onions
for 30 seconds; remove with slotted spoon and place in a bowl of
ice water to cool.  Drain onions, cut off roots and slip off the skin.
Add the onions to the stew and cook for 1 more hour or
until meat is tender.  Skim fat from sauce.

¼ cup water
2 ½ tbsp. flour

Shake water and flour in a jar with tight fitting lid.  Stir into stew and
cook on top of stove until thickened.  Remove bay leaf.
Serve the meat and vegetables over cooked potatoes.
Yield: 8 servings


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