Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This is adapted from the Beef Stew in Joy of Cooking (1997, pp. 669-70). Ingredients are interspersed with the instructions because you need different items at different times throughout the preparation process.
Make sure you have these on hand: onion, carrots, celery, chopped garlic, 2 lbs stewing beef cubes, thyme, marjoram, savory, sage, bay leaves, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, flour, cannola oil, dry red wine, beef Better than Bouillon, root vegetables.
Cut up 1/2 C onion, 1/4 C carrots, 1/4 C celery and 2 T chopped garlic. Set aside in one bowl.
Prepare two different spice collections:
1. 1 generous teaspoon of dried thyme, marjoram, savory and half as much sage
1/2 tsp each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. 1 generous teaspoon of dried thyme, marjoram, savory and half as much sage
1/2 tsp each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1. Spread 1 C flour on a cookie sheet.
2. Rinse and pat dry 2 pounds stewing beef cubes.
3. Sprinkle spice prep 1 onto the meat and toss to make sure all pieces are seasoned.
4. Heat up in a dutch oven, 2 T canola oil over medium high heat.
5. Dredge the meat in flour.
6. Shake off excess flour and in batches, brown the meat on all sides, being careful not to crowd the meat (in about three batches or so). If the meat is lean, you'll need to add oil between batches.
7. Remove meat and set aside.
8. Pour off all but 2 T of fat (and add more if needed) and add veggies. Over medium heat, stir often until onions are softened.
9. Add spice prep 2.
10. Add 1/2 C dry red wine to deglaze the pan.
11. Return meat to pot and add 3 C of beef broth (made with Better than Bouillon) and then enough red wine to cover generously the meat.
12. Bring to a boil. Cover and return to simmer. Cook until meat is fork-tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
13. Check often to keep from sticking to pot and to make sure the meat stays covered. Add boiling water as necessary to keep the meat covered.
14. Cut up root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips) into one-inch chunks. [Recipe called for 2-3 carrots, 3-4 boiling potatoes, 2 turnips and 2 parsnips--gauge accordingly depending on which of these you use, and what sizes each are]. Add to stew.
15. Add boiling water as necessary to cover up, and cook an additional 35-40 minutes until veggies are tender.
16. Remove bay leaves and serve.