This is my way of giving back to all the friends and family who follow all the menus and food posts that I am forever sharing. I hope you enjoy the recipes, laugh at the stories and learn that food is not just good for your health, it is good for your soul! Let's Eat!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
It is cold out there....
Yes, we are now moving into the time of the year when the weather drops down and all you can think about is the kind of good food that will keep you warm. I was just about to head out into the weather this morning and all I could think about is what am I making for dinner...lol I decided beef is what I will be preparing tonight. I try to prepare my meals as much ahead of time as possible but it does not always work that way. Considering that Thanksgiving just passed most people are avoiding turkey and any variation of poultry for a while. Tonight's menu includes: beef stew with carrots, onions, and potatoes over white rice, corn bread, and homemade cookies for dessert. The best thing about this is more than half of the meal is in one pot. Quick tip to help with having the most tender meats when preparing dinner, if you purchase your meats by bulk when you break them down into meal sized portions, season and marinate the meat ahead of time. The marinades and or tenderizers only enhance the flavor of your meat but it helps even more when you freeze your meats with the seasonings already on them. Okay folks I believe I have said enough for now...I may post a little more later today. As always in parting....Let's Eat!
Duh, I forgot to add the recipe for the beef stew that I am preparing tonight...lol charge it to my head and not my heart. I am still figuring this all out.
3 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 lb. large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick coins
3 large potatoes, in 1-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour (or enough to coat meat)
garlic and onion powder (for sprinkling)
1 quart beef stock
1/4 cup ketchup
This Beef Stew may be made in the Crock-Pot or on the stove
top in a large Dutch oven, but for the best results, be sure your Crock-Pot
doesn't boil; it should simmer lightly. Boiling will make the beef stringy and
dry, will ruin the flavor of the broth and make the vegetables mushy - the
results will be like stew from a can. Some Crock-Pots have probes which will
allow you to set the desired temperature.
Sprinkle the beef cubes lightly with salt, pepper, garlic
powder, onion powder and flour for extra flavor during browning.
When using a Crock-Pot for beef stew, for extra flavor,
brown the floured beef cubes in olive oil before transferring them to the
Crock-Pot. Brown onions and add garlic
towards the end of the browning but don't allow it to take on too much color.
In a Crock-pot, add all the vegetables at the beginning; set the Crock-Pot to
170-190°F and leave to cook from 5-8 hours or until meat and vegetables are
If using a Dutch oven, add the vegetables during the last 35
minutes of cooking and simmer until tender. Add a few tablespoons of flour at
the same time to thicken the gravy, if desired. The gravy may also be thickened
by stirring a a tablespoon or so of cornstarch into cold water before adding to
the stew. Be sure to allow ample time for the thickener to cook before serving
time to avoid a raw flour taste.
Extra vegetables can be added if you have them on hand. Turnips,
corn, sweet potatoes, fresh peas and green beans are all wonderful additions. A
pinch of thyme and basil and bay leaf can be added, too.
This stew tastes even better the following day after the
flavors have a chance to blend in the refrigerator!