Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Beef Stew Feelings


I made the most tasty beef stew that I have ever made.
There was a swing in the Southern California weather and it made for a great meal on a cool night.

Lets start at the very beginning shall we.  Okay. Last week the Mr. was out of town and that meant whatever is left in the fridge going to be consumed.  What I had left over was chicken broth that I made for a pre-marathon meal. At this point I think I have a pretty good slow cooker broth down. 

To make a good slow cooker broth you need a few things:

meat with bones
carrots
celery
herbs
onion
garlic
salt
pepper
most important, water

Instructions: put in slow cooker, fill with water and then set on low for 8 hours or more. 

Now you most perfect broth isn't perfect after 8 hours.  You have to pull out the meat then strain.  When you strain out everything I like to squeeze the once solids, now mush and though.  It adds flavor I like to think.  Then strain it again through a finer sieve. Then you have to reduce it.

At this point, you can add more onion. garlic and herbs and sweat those down first then reduce the broth. It really all depends on the end product.

For the beef stew I did a few things different.  I dredged the chuck meat in flour, salt and pepper and then browned the meat, with no bones, then released the browned bits with white wine.  Added all the the goodies to the slow cooker. Added thyme and rosemary, onion and garlic unpeeled, celery and carrot and more salt and pepper for good measure then turned it to low.  Left for work.

I strained it out when I got home, then I cut some onion and garlic and cooked it down in butter then red wine, reduced it down with tomato paste and added thyme and rosemary. Added the veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Also added whatever was in the pantry, barley and alphabet pasta. Brought it to a boil for twenty-ish minutes uncovered. Just until the sweat potatoes were cooked. Then added peas and and the cooked meat.  It hit the right notes at all the right times. It was perfect.