Monday, November 13, 2006

Have your beef stew, and eat it "three"

Should it not be "Have your cake and eat it too!" ? Sorry, getting out of hand playing with words.

Decided to be more "professional" this time in making my beef stew. Previously, my "beef stew for dummies" method is to "dump" everything (beef cubes, root vegetables mix of celery, carrots and onions, and mushrooms) in the crock-pot and just let it cook and simmer. Trust me, it will not fail the beef stew. What can go wrong in making stew such a way, especially when you're using a crock pot/slow cooker. But if you have more time, and are prepared to get some "smoke and heat" up from your stove, you can try it this way too. I've tried it, and it's equally good (if not, better).


Slow cooker beef stew recipe
Ingredients:
-~ 2lbs cubed beef stew meat
-1/4 cup corn starch
-1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-baby carrots
-1 bunch/stalk celery hearts
-8-10 caps crimini mushrooms
-white/yellow onions, sliced
-2 cups boiling water
-1tbsp butter
-some red wine to deglaze the skillet/pan after frying
-warm water

Method:
1.Place meat in a large plastic bag. Combine 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour into the bag with the meat, and shake to coat
2.Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until evenly browned on the outside. Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, celery, mushrooms, plus 2cups of boiling water
3.In the same skillet, melt butter and saute onions until softened; remove to the slow cooker
4.Pour red wine into the skillet, and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom
5.Remove from heat, and pour into the slow cooker
6.Cover, and cook on High for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to Low, and cook for 5 hours, or until meat is fork tender.

There are simply too many variations to make beef stew eg. using bacon bits for more flavor, adding potatos for more starchiness and for thickening the stew etc. There are many ways to eat it too. For us, it's having our beef stew and eat it three ways! Served as a dish, together with rice,

eatin' and dippin' it with toast (good for lunch!),


or stir it up(like any pasta sauce) with macaroni.


Can even try a casserole, but I've really run out of beef stew for this. Uh-oh!

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