Friday, March 06, 2009

Recipe: Beef Stew

Like most stews and burgoos, there are lots of variations. I normally add carrots and mushrooms, but we were out of them, so I made do with onion, celery, garlic, and potato. The meat we had in the freezer was a chunk of London Broil. The picture to the left shows it after I added the beef broth and meat back to the pot. As you can see, it's hot enough to be steamy.

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 2-3 hours on the stovetop

  • 8 oz. chunk of beef (doesn't have to be cubed ahead of time)
  • Flour, salt, and pepper to dredge the meat
  • 2-3 Tbs. of olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of beef stock
  • One large, or two small onions, diced
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced
  • a few cloves of garlic, minced
  • one or two bay leaves (optional, but I really love the flavor)
  • carrots (optional)
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • one or two potatoes, depending on size, peeled and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes.
  • extra salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch, with enough water to make a slurry
  1. Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour, and sear it on all sides in the olive oil
  2. Remove the beef and set it aside while you sweat the veggies, except for the potatoes, (about 8 minutes) on medium-low
  3. When the veggies are translucent, add the beef stock to the pot to deglaze it, add the beef back to the pot, nestling it down in the liquid, and add the bay leaf
  4. Put a lid on it, and let it simmer on low, until the meat is tender enough to shred (2-3 hours, depending on how tough your cut of meat is), flipping the meat every half hour or so
  5. Remove the meat, let it cool for a few minutes, then shred it
  6. Add the shredded beef and cubed potatoes back to the pot, and give it another half hour
  7. Add the cornstarch slurry to the liquid and let it come to a boil to thicken
  8. Adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve
  1. You could make a medium-dark roux to use for thickening the sauce, after sweating the veggies, but I find the veggies will get coated in the oil and don't leave any in the bottom of the pot, so you'd have to add more oil, if you want to go this route. The cornstarch isn't exactly low-carb, but at least it doesn't add the sort of calories to the dish that adding another couple of tablespoons of oil and flour to make a roux does.
  2. You can substitute bouillon cubes and water for the beef broth, but if you do, go easy on the salt.
  3. I prefer Baleine sel de mer fin, but Kosher salt, or even ordinary table salt will do.

No comments: