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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beef Stew

Okay, I have to admit that as a single person, stew isn't something I make often--because it's a big pot of food that I'll be eating meal after meal.  Just can't do that.  But here's how my mother taught me to make stew and it is delicious.

Take a package (approx. 2 lbs.) of organic stew meat and shake it in a plastic bag with approximately one cup of seasoned (salt and pepper) rice flour (my mother used wheat).  Now, in melted butter in an iron pan, saute the stew meat until browned on all sides.  Mother said it should be browned very dark--then you'll end up with a rich dark gravy.  She hated chicken gravy because it was so blonde.  I happen to love chicken gravy, but be patient with the browning process--it'll pay off.

Once the meat is good and brown, add red wine and water.  Perhaps 1 cup each.  This isn't rocket science and if you are uncomfortable with not following an exact recipe, then I apologize.  But creative cooking is good--so pour in some liquid.  You could also use organic chicken broth.  The idea is that there's enough broth to submerge lots of chopped carrots, onion, and celery.  And eventually potatoes.

Add the carrots (a bunch cut in 1 inch pieces) as the flavor of carrots is sweet and adds depth to the gravy.  Also one whole chopped onion and lots of celery (6 stalks or more chopped in 1 inch pieces.)

Once the meat and vegetables have simmered for about an hour or two (poke with a fork to determine tenderness), add several potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters.

Taste your gravy at this point.  Add salt and pepper, oregano, thyme or bay to taste.   Simmer until potatoes and meat are tender--about another hour.

Delicious!  Serve with salad and red wine.

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