Friday, April 3, 2015

Secrets for a Great Beef Stew

The secret to making a Great Beef Stew is knowing your audience.
          When you get a bowl full of stew do you want: lots big chunks of beef?
                                                                                      lots of vegetables?
                                                                                      broth or thick gravy
The most  satisfying Beef Stew you will ever have is the one you make!!!
You just need to start with a couple key ingredients from there you can add what you love.
Stew Beef, onion, carrot, acidic liquid to break down the meat - tomato or wine 
I like my Beef Stew spicy loaded with vegetables but sometimes
I am in the mood for hearty chunky beefy stew that is more of a entrée than stew,
then there is Lia, she likes a very simple stew beef carrots sweet potato all cut small
the Broth in Lia's Stew reminds me of New England Cooking

cut beef into cubes cutting across the grain,  

 coat with flour (I use sweet rice flour)
cube extra beef to freeze for another time

pan searing does bring more flavor to the stew
I have been pinched for time plenty of times
and grabbed a bag of floured stew beef from the freezer
toss it in the slowcooker with the rest of the ingredients 
today I had time to pan sear the stew meat,
with the slowcooker on low I added the seared meat then the onion soup, diced tomatoes
then I chopped the vegetables, what order you put everything into the crockpot doesn't matter, you'll be mixing it all together before covering and walking away for the day.

What and how much you add for vegetables is really up to what you like

my onion and sweet potato
over flowed the cup
into the pot they went
I love a veggie loaded stew

I add green beans, peas at the end of cooking I like my green beans to stay green.  If you prefer mushy add them with the rest of the veggies.
 Serve with Sour Cream Biscuits, Dumplings, Hoe Cakes
Beef Stew
Serves 4

1   pound   stew  beef
2 tbs flour
1  large onions, diced 1 cup
1  cup  sweet potato, cubed
2 cups  carrots,  diced or baby carrots
1 cup celery, sliced
1 1/2  tablespoons italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup red wine
1   teaspoons salt
1   teaspoon pepper
1  15 oz can  stewed tomatoes or diced
1 can Progresso onion soup (Progresso is Gluten Free)

Cut beef into 1 cubes; toss in flour then place in slow cooker.  Add the rest of ingredients.  Slow cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.  Stew beef is tough before it gets tender if the beef is tough it needs longer to cook. 

Substitute 1 can of Progresso Cream of Mushroom Soup for tomatoes to make a gravy style Stew
substitute 1 -11oz can of spicy v8 juice for stewed tomatoes
Substitute 1 -15 oz can beef broth for onion soup
Add 1 cup butternut squash optional
Add 2 cups green beans - I like my green beans green so I add them the last ½ hour. 
Add 2 cups peas
Add 1 -15 can of corn, drained
Add 1 -15 oz can pea beans drained & rinsed
Progresso Soups do not need water added like most soups if you are using a brand that needs water added when heated up you should add 1/2 can of water to the stew.

Beef Stew - Lia will eat

2-3 b-lbs stew meat
1 can Progresso onion soup
1 can beef broth, swanson is gf
2 tbs molasses( to taste)
1  onion diced
4-5 carrots, chopped 1/2"
1 sweet potato, chopped small
4 tbs sweet rice flour
Cut beef into 1 in cubes; toss in flour. Throw everything in the crockpot
cook low 8-10 hrs.  If using frozen beef cook on low for 10 hours
This recipe is flexible use what vegetables you like, frozen green beans, corn, I would load it with veggies but then Lia won’t eat it.
 Hearty Chunky Beef Stew
Serves 8

2      pounds  stew  beef
1/4 cup flour (I use sweet rice flour)
2 tbs vegetable oil, (I use Olive Oil)
2    large   onions, cut into chunks
1   pound  potato, cut in chunks about 2 cups
1 sweet potato chunked about 1 cup
4-5 carrots, chopped 2"
1 bag green beans
tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2      teaspoons     beef bouillon
1      teaspoons     salt
1      teaspoon   pepper
1    can  diced tomatoes
1 quart Beef Stock - Kitchen Basics is Gluten Free

Cut beef into 1 1/2 -2 in cubes; toss in flour, heat 4 1/2 qt dutch oven to med high add beef, brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat; cover and transfer to oven.  Bake 4 hours at 250 degrees.  Do not peek.  Do not stir. 
If you want to cook stew in slowcooker; after browning beef put in slowcooker with the rest of the ingredients.

Loaded Beef Stew