Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Beef Stew

Homemade Beef Stew with Cornbread
Well folks, it seems like everyone I know is bunkering (is that a word??) down for all this cold weather! People in my little town went crazy last night buying last minute supplies...trying to prepare for this cold weather that us in north Texas just aren't used too!!! My Step-Teenager just laughs at us in our heavy coats and antics....she lives in Indianapolis and sees this kind of thing all the time!!! I thought I was good and didn't have to get out till my hubby called with a last minute list of things...just in case we lose power...we would be able to stay warm, eat and flush the toilet....you know things like that. Silly me didn't think about getting things like Carbon Monoxide Detectors so we could use the gas stoves..an extra propane tank...I spent my day making things like bread and stew. I will quit rambling now....

The other day The Pioneer Woman, Ree, posted a recipe for Beef Stew with Paprika.....this looked very interesting to me! I love Beef Stew...it's so simple and hearty...and I happen to have lots of steak in my freezer that I am trying to repurpose....we just can't eat that much steak in a year! So this is my version of Ree's Beef Stew!

Beef Stew Mama D Style

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2-5/8" thick chuck steaks (you could substitute stew meat)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
2 tsp Beef Base (or two beef Bouillon cubes)
1 bottle beer (or can)
1 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 tsp. cumin
4 to 6 carrots, peeled and diced
4 to 6 potatoes peeled and diced (or use red potatoes and just wash and dice)
1 can tomato sauce

Heat your olive oil and butter in a dutch oven (some people call this a spaghetti pot, stock pot....whatever works for you...as long as it has a lid!)

Cut up chuck steak
Because I used steaks, I cut mine up into bite size pieces and seasoned them with salt and pepper. If you use stew meat (which is the same thing) just dump it in!!!
Brown you meat in oil/butter until just a little crispy...it doesn't have to be all the way cooked...just brown and slightly crispy to lock in the flavor and moisture! Remove from pan and set aside.

Chopped Onion and Bell Pepper

Now normally I would pull these to from my flash frozen stock...but being the end of the month I was out...so during this process I cut up about 4 onions and bell peppers and popped them in the freezer....now I am stocked up....and I only had to chopped all those onions once! See my post on Flash Freezing.

You want to throw those in the pot that you just removed the meat from...be sure and scrape up all those little stuck on pieces of meat on the bottom of the pan while you are stirring, they add lots of good flavor to your stew. Let this cook until you veggies are nice and soft.
Softening those veggies.

At this point we are gonna start adding some flavorings.

First your minced Garlic can go in with the onions and pepper. Add 2 cups of water and your beef base or beef bouillon cubes....or a couple of cans of beef broth for that matter (it's all basically the same thing). Your Beer, Worcestershire sauce, cumin and a little pepper to taste. Now add your meat back in, be sure and pour all those drippings in too.... Cover your pot, turn the heat all the way down and let it simmer for a couple of hours. This would be a really good recipe to put in your crock pot....you could get it to this point and put it in the crock pot with the rest of your veggies and leave it till you got ready to eat.

Now for the last step. You need to add the rest of your veggies. The way I determined my veggie count was by the number of people I was feeding....when you are making soup the veggies are what makes that meat stretch....so my rule of thumb is one veggie per person. So since I have four people in my family I used 4 carrots and 4 potatoes for my stew.

Four peeled and diced Carrots

Four Peeled and Diced Potatoes

Add those to your pot with a can of tomato sauce....if you need to add a little more water go ahead.
Adding Tomato Sauce
Now give that stew a good stir, increase your heat a little, put the cover back on and start making your cornbread. It should take about 20 minutes for your veggies to get soft and then you are ready to eat! I had cornbread left over from Sunday night so I ate leftovers and Tool Man got into my homemade bread!!! He said that dipping the bread in the juice was the best part!
Giving it a good stir before cooking veggies!
I hope all you folks stay warm and safe! God Bless, Mama D

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