by Brad Nelson 7/25/16
Tim’s Elizabeth (or is it Elizabeth’s Tim?) mentioned a stew recipe that sounded good and vaguely similar to mine. So I said I’d post my recipe and compare.
Whether this belongs in “Health and Fitness” perhaps is debatable…if you’re a Vegan. With this recipe, “PETA” means “people eating tasting animals.” But it doesn’t have all that much beef in it (you may certainly put more in). And what beef it does have is very lean. You can use ground Trump if you prefer but I’ve had very good luck with various cheap cuts of meat including beef eye of round and petite sirloin.
This recipe is based roughly upon a recipe for Quick and Easy Beef Stew that I found at Food.com. I’ve perhaps made a bit less quick and easy, but certainly a bit more nutritious.
I make this in a 6 quart crock pot set on high until it simmers, and then let it crock away on low for at least six hours. I usually prepare this in the evening and let it stew overnight and have some for lunch. There is no way to over-cook this. It’s all good.
When all the ingredients are added to the pot, you can basically barely stir it. It will be very thick, but as it cooks the juices will be released and thin it out considerably. I fill the crock pot to within about an inch of the top to allow for a little expansion and the ability to stir it without slopping all over. Many crock pots warn you about not filling to the top because it won’t be as hot at the very top. Mine gets plenty hot, but I usually cover it with a towel to help retain heat. The meat (and everything else) gets thoroughly and evenly cooked. I stir every couple of hours. At the very end, I’ll add a little water to account for evaporation.
1 lb or more of a cheap cut of lean meat, cubed. I don’t brown it first but you certainly could.
7 medium yellow (Yukon Golds, I suppose) or red potatoes with the skins (I prefer the yellows for their more tender skins, and either type is less starchy than a Russet)
32 ounces beef broth + one beef bullion cube dissolved in some hot water (or any combination thereof that will produce that amount of beefy goodness). I try to get the low salt variety and then add salt at the very end of cooking in case it is needed.
7 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely diced
4 stocks of celery, coarsely chopped
4 button mushrooms, coarsely diced
14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (no salt added…fresh tomatoes from your garden, of course, would be preferred)
1/3 of a crown of cauliflower, coarsely diced/chopped (hacked?)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon allspice (no more or it will overpower it)
Sage, rosemary, thyme, sweet basil…mix and match. Use more if fresh from garden, a little less if using dried ingredients, but heavy on the rosemary. Maybe about 2 tablespoons in total when very finely chopped (if fresh).
Heavy sprinkle of powdered garlic (freshly chopped is fine, but I try to make this recipe quick and easy to some extent)
1/2 heaping half cup of flour (3/4 of a cup for the 6 quark crock pot would be fine…I sift it into the pot)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (get the good stuff if you can)
1 tablespoon olive oil (ditto on the good stuff)
5 cups water (best to add near end to see if you have much room left)
You don’t need to add these ingredients in any particular order, but I would put the beef stock and canned tomatoes in first just so the heat can be transferred more readily via the liquids. And obviously hold off on adding the flour until you have some liquids that you can dissolve it into…better to wait until the liquids have heated up a bit as well.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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