February 06, 2012

Love for beef stew









































Super rich and flavourful, I could eat a good beef stew, morning day and night, 7 days a week. I'm not even kidding. It's perfect for winter, even though weather in Toronto right now is no where even close to the winter's I'm use to. It's comfort food. Damn good comfort food! Beef stew is pretty simple to make though a little patience is needed. I watched a movie (Bad Teacher, hilarious!) for about two hours while my yummy pot of gold simmered away. I served this with garlic brussel sprouts and a good chunk of challah bread for sopping up any drippings. Thank goodness for lefts overs!

I didn't use a recipe, but this is basically it..
Clearly I want you to mess around with it and tweak it to your liking!

Beef Stew
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
  • 3lb Stewing beef
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 can of Campbell's tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups water (Use 6 cups of beef stock instead, if you don't have bouillon cubes!)
  • 4 Beef boullion cubes (read above)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, optional
  • 2 tablespoons flour + 5 tablespoons water, mixed
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Prep your stewing beef, by patting them dry with paper towel. You want your meat to brown and caramelize, not steam. Browning equates to flavour.
  2. In a large pot or deep skillet (keep in mind, the bigger the surface area, the better!), melt butter and heat up the oil on medium high. Carefully drop the cubes of beef in the pot, make sure not to over crowd. This will help promote browning. If you need to do this in batches, do it.
  3. Once all sides are a rich caramel colour, take it out, put in a bowl and set aside. Repeat if needed.
  4. At this point you will have all sorts of dark brown bits stuck to the pan. This is good! Dump in your onions, sautée for 2 minutes and add in your garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and have picked up some colour.
  5. Turn the heat up  to high and add in the wine immediately. This will loosen up all those flavour bits on the bottom, de-glazing it.
  6. Drop in your bay leaves, add in the water & beef boullion OR beef stock as well as the can of tomato soup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Get your bowl of browned beef cubes and cut them into bite sized pieces. Drop it as well as any juices back into the pot.
  8. Stir it around and let cook for 30 minutes, on full boil, uncovered.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium low. Toss in the cubed potatoes and carrots, barely as well as the paprika and chipotle powder and let simmer half covered for as much time as you have before dinner! Minimum 2 hours. Stir it periodically, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom or burns.
  10. During the last 10 minutes, throw in the frozen peas and add in the flour + water mixture stirring constantly. Thicken up the sauce and give it some weight.
  11. Do a taste test- add salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Serve with rice, bread or eat alone! There's no wrong way to consume this. :)

P.S .Be sure to not cut your finger off (or your nail in my case) and always remember to give your cat something to munch on while you cook! Tank was sitting on the table patiently watching me while I prepped. How could I not give her some juicy cow meat? Look at that face! <3

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About

Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and make big messes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's super cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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