The taste of winter

Posted: November 14, 2009 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

As we get further into the fall and it starts to feel like winter, I slowly begin to remember the hell that is Ohio winter.  With this in mind, I decided to try to turn a negative into a positive.  While winter tends to bring icy walk ways, cars that won’t start, white out snow, and literally NO sunshine for weeks on end, it also brings warm cozy sweaters, and even warmer, cozier food.  Root vegetables, soups, squash, and don’t even get me started on the holiday food :) .   So tonight I decided to make one of my all time favorite winter foods…beef stew.  My mom has a stew recipe that she made while I was growing up that was done completely in the microwave.  It was pretty good, but a) I don’t have any microwaveable cookware, and b) I’m always scared to microwave things like that because I’m a touch slow at times and with my luck I would blow up the microwave, and thus my kitchen.  So I decided to do it in my dutch oven instead.  I had never made it before, and didn’t have a recipe, but I knew the basic components, so I decided to wing it.

Here it goes:

1. pour 3/4 cup of  flour into a plastic bag and season it liberally with salt and pepper.   Throw about 1.5 pounds of stew beef into the bag and shake it to coat all the pieces.

2. Melt a couple TBSP of butter in the pot and put the meat in to brown.   Keep stirring the meat until it is all browned.

3.  While the meat is browning combine 2 cups beef broth (I used bouillon cubes since they are so much cheaper than stock), a cup and a half of red wine and a half a packet of onion soup mix (I wanted to use it up, so I threw it in…good life choice).

4. Once the meat is  browned, pour in the liquid, throw in two whole or halved cloves of garlic and bring it to a boil for about 5 min, uncovered.  Then reduce the heat to simmer, and cover it.  Let it simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half.

5. Cut onion, celery, carrot, and baby bella mushrooms into bite sized pieces.  After the meat has simmered, throw in all the vegetables and keep it covered, simmering for about another half hour (until the veggies are fully cooked).

6. Serve, and be happy.  I suggest using some sort of bread product to soak up the juices, I made biscuits.

Now, I always liked my mom’s stew growing up, and I’m not trying to be a conceited bitch, but holy sh*t dude it was good.  It was all smooth and buttery from the meat and the mushrooms, but with a tang from the vegetables and the wine.  Seriously, I expected to tank this one since I was just sort of throwing crap in a pot, but somehow I stumbled onto something good.  I didn’t put in potatoes because stew is normally heavy enough for me without the added starch, also, I did not in fact have any potato.

This is such a good dish because you can literally throw in anything you have in your fridge.  You could add corn, green beans, peas, anything really.  Once you have the meat done just throw in whatever you want and heat until its cooked.  Its also nice because this would also be something you could easily do in a crock pot.  Just brown the meat in the morning, throw it in the crock pot and set it on low.  When you get home at the end of the day, just put in the veggies and turn it to high for about an hour, and you have dinner.

This is probably going to end up being one of my weekly staples this winter. Anything to get me through another damn Ohio winter :)

Happy Stewing!!

TT



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.