Monday, October 19, 2009

What's for Dinner? Beef Stew

The leaves are all turning color and the air has become colder. That means it's stew time!!

Last night for dinner I made Beef Stew and it was fantastic! I don't have pictures but here is the recipe - Adapted from the Betty Crocker website.

This recipe fed 3 adults and 1 preschooler dinner and there were left overs for Heidi and I to take to lunch.

I paired it simply with french bread - it really hit the spot. Do not be intimidated by the three phases, it's not that bad. It takes about 20 minutes (depending on how fast you chop) and 3 to 3.5 hours to cook.

Ingredients for Phase 1:
2 tbsp Olive Oil
About 2 lbs beef stew meet or beef roast cut into 1 inch cubes
6 cups water (next time I will try 3 cups red wine and 3 cups water or beef stalk or broth if I have it in the house)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Ingredients for Phase 2:
2 large carrots - cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large potato - I used 1 large (minus the parts that Heidi dropped on the floor and 1 med so it probably was closer to 1 large and 1 small or maybe 2 mediums?)
1 med green bell pepper (I used 1/2 large and that was enough for me)
1 med celery stalk (mine had very large leaves on top so I used 2)
1 small onion - I like yellow (I used 1/2 large but I could have used the entire thing)
2 tsp salt (I used sea salt for cooking)
2 bay leafs
1 lb bag of mixed frozen veggies

Ingredients for Phase 3:
1 cup cold water
4 tsp flour

Phase 1:
In dutch oven (or any large pot that has a lid) heat the oil over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. (Instead of measuring I just lightly coat the bottom of the pot)

Add Beef and cook about 15 minutes - meat will be brown on all sides.

Add water (wine, broth, stalk... whatever liquid you are using), 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper. (I don't like to measure salt or pepper so I just put a bit of salt in my palm and then grind the pepper over top of the pot.)

Heat to boiling

Reduce Heat to low and cover (on my gas stove with my large pot, if I actually turn the burner all the way down to low it does not heat the pot so I am just below medium)

Simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours. The beef will be almost tender so the timing will depend on the cut of beef you are using.

Phase 2:
All all ingredients listed in Phase 2 above. You can change out any of the veggies for other or use only fresh or 2 lbs of frozen, whatever you like!

Cover and cook for 30 minutes or so - check the veggies, if they are all cut about the same size they will cook evenly, move to phase 3 when the veggies are how you like them (firm or soft)

Phase 3:
Put Flour and Cold Water in a tight container and shake well.

Gradually stir into the pot.

Heat to boiling and stir (this will take about 1 minute) and will thickens up liquid so you have stew instead of soup.

I don't know the caloric content but since this can modified in so many ways I am not even going to guess. If you trim the fat from the beef it will be healthier, frozen veggies will have more sodium than fresh... In any case it's...

Yum! Enjoy!!

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