Monday, August 26, 2013

Every Dish in the Kitchen, Old Fashioned Stew

I spent Friday morning digging potatoes, pulling carrots, onions and snapping a few celery stalks for a nice pot of stew. Autumn is well on it's way and many of the sugar maples are starting to turn already. 

Sometimes stew in our house is made from leftover roast where I normally add veggies to the roasting pan with stew in mind for the next day. THAT, is an easy throw together meal. But when I really want to MAKE some stew...for the sake of stew, this is how I do it. This stew recipe is an overkill recipe, but I promise the extra steps (and dishes) are well worth the effort. I try to get the most from each ingredient by cooking it in a flavor enhancing way, then adding each element together to slow cook in the crock pot to marry and meld. The vegetables are roasted on high heat in a single layer to bring out the sugars and caramelize, and the meat is seared to seal in flavor and juiciness

The Veggies:
2-3 carrots
2 ribs celery
2 medium sweet onions
5-6 medium potatoes (I leave the skins on)
4 garlic cloves cut in half
herbs: 1-2 tsp each rosemary, parsley, thyme

Preheat oven to 400. Chop all veggies into approximately 1 inch cubes. I chop the celery a bit smaller because I don't enjoy eating a large chunk of celery. Toss veggies in olive oil and spread on cookie sheet. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary or a seasoning blend of your choice like Lawrys. Roast 40 minutes or until the veggies caramelize. When done, add to a crock pot on low.

The Meat:
 2-3 well marbled steaks
1 tbsp butter
olive oil
garlic power
1 cup Merlot
good dose of Worcestershire Sauce

Drizzle olive oil in a pan and add the butter. Heat pan until butter melts and oil starts to sizzle. Carefully add steaks, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown on high 3 minutes each side. Set meat aside to rest. Turn heat off pan and add the Merlot. Turn heat back on and reduce by half, scraping the steak bits from the bottom. Add a few good shakes of the Worcestershire. After the steak have rested, cut up into 1 inch cubes. Add to the crock pot and pour the Merlot reduction over everything.

I've been known to sprinkle a pack of Lipton Onion Soup Mix over the top (If you're into that kind of thing)

Cook for 4-6 hours in crock pot.

The Thickener: (roux)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour

In a sauce pan, melt butter then whisk in flour and cook over medium heat until it smells nutty and turns a golden brown.

When the stew is within an hour of serving, add the rue and stir well.

Best. Stew. Ever.

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