Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Promised Beef Stew

This is my own recipe adapted from others over time.  I hope you enjoy it!

Julie’s Beef Stew

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. Sirloin Tip Roast, cut up or Stew Meat

4- 6 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

2 - 4 tbsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, chopped up

3 - 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

3 cups beef broth

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/2 – 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1 small bay leaf

1/2 tsp. dried thyme, or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh, chopped

dash of Tabasco sauce

1/2 cup red wine, or red cooking wine

6 potatoes, cut up

6 carrots, cut up or a couple handfuls of peeled mini carrots

1 stalk of celery cut up, optional

1. (Stew meat, flour and salt will be divided into 2 parts to dredge meat with flour and sauté.)  In a large, Ziploc bag, combine 2 - 3 tbsp. flour and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Shake to combine flour and salt and then add stew meat to bag.  Shake to coat meat with flour. 

stew 1 wm.jpeg

2.  Melt 1 – 2 tbsp. butter in large pan and sauté flour dredged stew meat at medium high until browned on all sides.  Repeat step 1 with second portion of stew meat.

stew 2 wm.jpeg 3.  While the meat is browning, you need to get out your Crockpot. (Stove top directions are at the end of the recipe.)  Put these things in it: cut up onion and garlic, chopped parsley, tomato sauce, beef broth, cloves , black pepper, bay leaf, thyme and Tabasco.   

stew 4 wm.jpeg Add all the browned stew meat to the crock pot. 

stew 3 wm.jpeg

4.  Set the timer on low for 5 -6 hours.

stew 5 wm.jpeg

5.  Now you need to prepare the vegetables.  In a glass 9 x 13 dish, add the cut up potatoes, carrots and celery.  Add a little bit of water, 1/2 – 3/4 cup, to cover the bottom of the dish.  Cover vegetables and dish with plastic wrap.  Cook in the microwave for 5 – 7 minutes (depending on your microwave).  Turning, if necessary, halfway through if your microwave doesn’t have a turntable.  I like to cook my vegetables to where they still are a bit firm and not completely soft as they will cook more when added to the pot.  BE VERY CAREFUL when lifting the plastic wrap as serious steam burns happen to those who aren’t!  Ouchy, ouchy!

I leave my vegetables in the microwave and go do a lot of other things for the rest of the day…

6.  Add the wine the last hour of cooking. 

7.  Add the cooked vegetables the last half hour of cooking. 

Serve with your favorite bread.  Here is the finished Boule from the dough I showed you yesterday.  Absotively delish!  The recipe is in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  See how the one on the right is shaped like a heart?  It was made with love.  Or maybe I just love bread. 

stew 7 wm Dinner is served for some very happy people.

stew 6 wm.jpeg Other cooking tips:

This recipe doubles nicely if you’re feeding a crew.

For the beef broth, I use, McCormick’s Beef Base purchased at Costco.  1 tsp. beef base plus 1 cup water = 1 cup broth.

Stove top instructions:

Follow steps 1 and 2 to brown your meat.  Add step 3 ingredients and cooked meat to a big pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 - 3 hours or until meat is tender.  Add wine the last hour and add the cooked vegetables the last half hour.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thyme in a Bottle

Guess what I found out today? 

Thyme in a bottle wm.jpeg You can save thyme in a bottle.  This makes me smile.

Thyme and Momma wm.jpeg Momma Kitty wants to see how this is done.  Perhaps I, too, will figure it out.

Here’s another “guess what?”. 

Guess what’s for dinner? 

Hearty Beef stew wm.jpegWith fresh picked thyme in it.  Simmering in the crock pot to save me… time! 

boule dough wm.jpeg

This is the dough that I mixed this morning.  This is the book with the recipe and lots of others to try.

(Many events and hours later…)

Dinner is ready!  I love coming home, on a cool and overcast day, to a well seasoned crock pot full of homemade stew and fresh, homemade bread. 

stew and bread wm.jpeg My favorite recipe for stew… tomorrow!

Till then, a poem, somewhat about time…

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks