Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For Tue. 3/24: Beef Stew

Beef stew is a crockpot classic. I don't really use a recipe; I kind of make it the way my dad always did, modified for the crockpot. I split of a little less than 1/3 for our dinner tomorrow. Here's what I used (total, between the 2 crockpots):

-Trim the fat from and cut up a 4 1/3 lb. beef shoulder roast (pot roast meat is a lot cheaper than pre-cut stew meat, and cooks the same, and is often better quality. Look for something marked "pot roast.") You want about 1 1/2 inch chunks.

-In a Ziplock style bag (gallon size), toss about 1/2 cup flour with about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 Tbsp. pepper (or to taste; can also use seasoned salt.)

-Toss beef chunks in flour. Then brown in a small amount of hot oil, just until the beef is beginning to take on some color. (Reserve the extra flour in the bag!)

-In the crockpot(s), toss 2 onions, diced, 6 large or 10 small potatoes, peeled and diced, about 45 baby carrots, halved, 3 stems celery, sliced, 2 medium-ish turnips, peeled and diced, 4-5 cloves garlic, minced, and about 3 Tbsp. rosemary, crushed between your fingers. (You want your dices pretty large, almost the size of the beef chunks, except the onions a little smaller.)

-Add the browned beef.

-In the bag with the flour, add 2 14 oz. cans beef broth, 2-3 Tbsp. gravy browning (this is important! Don't skip it, it gives a stew that "certain something") and about 1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce. Close bag and shake (and mush if necessary) until flour is all mixed in. Pour over stew ingredients. (If you're doing this on the stove you'd add some water, too.)

-Cover and cook low and slow until done-- about 8-10 hours on Low, usually.

I made biscuits to go with. Mmmmm. Stew and biscuits. I'm drooling already.

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