Friday, September 23, 2011

.beef stew for you.

in my home state of florida's september, jackets are gathering dust in hopeful closets. this is not the case in my new state of tennessee where on an early september day, windows in my home were open allowing the breeze to waft through as the crinkling sounds of reds, oranges and yellows fell from from the trees. the scents from my favorite candle embraced the air and with all this- i decided to make a stew.

i must really love my husband because when i ran across this stew recipe, it was filled with so much meatiness that i didn't even consider vegetarianizing it. instead, i made this dish just for him. if you want to make this for someone you love or for yourself or a combination of the two, here's what you do.

start by multitasking. begin browning your cubed beef. in a separate pot, heat your butter and then add in onion and garlic to soften it.

it should begin really turning a deeper brown and you'll know you're making progress when you get a scrumptious aroma coming from your big ol' pot. remove your beef from their pan once they're browned on all sides and set it to the side.

here's the not-so-secret ingredient of this beef this particular beer was one lucky little can left in our refrigerator from a certain friend. he's the only friend we have that drinks it. this one goes out to the little homey on the back burner.

after adding beef stock, worcestershire sauce, paprika, tomato paste, plus some salt and pepper, let the ingredients meld together over a little heat.

while the juices all simmer silently, chop up your beef into smaller, more stew friendly pieces. throw them in your pot. allow this to simmer for up to two hours. in my case, i used a crock pot at this point. in retrospect, i wish i hadn't. so, don't use a crock pot like i did and later regret it.

then, take your carrots and imagine what that color orange would look like on your fingernails if you're so inclined to fingernail painting. if you were me, you wouldn't have to imagine and you'd just look down at your fingernails. back to the carrots. chop them up into small rounds or chunks depending on how you prefer your stew. add these to what you've got stewing.

with small red potatoes, you are sure to be adding a hearty ingredient. quarter them or dice into sixths to be added to your mix.

with all the main characters on stage, in the pot, put a lid on it and let it do its thing for an additional 30 or so minutes. with the crock pot dilemma on my part, i had to allow for longer.

once everything is at your desired taste and tenderness, pour a heaping bowl of the stuff and serve it up with pride. just like i did. also, if you're anything like my vegetarian self, you'll be so tired of living in the kitchen that you'll make yourself a bowl of oriental ramen noodles and just enjoy the beautiful breeze outside.

beef stew
thanks to the pioneer woman
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 pounds Stew Meat
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.
Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
*UPDATE: The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.
Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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