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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beef Stew

I've officially shifted into chilly-weather cooking mode.

First came the soups, then the crock pot meals, and now--beef stew.

I don't cook my stew with traditional stew beef (beef chuck or shoulder), which is rather tough and dependent upon marinating--or cooking for an extended period of time--to tenderize the (grossness alert!) tough connective tissue.

Way back in the early years of my marriage, I did not feel like spending hours in the kitchen after I came home from a day at work.  I was looking for a short cut, and decided that I would use a tender cut of beef, sirloin tip steak, to cut down on the cooking time.

I've never measured the amounts of any of the ingredients, until today.  I usually just throw everything into the pot until it "looks right."  That's no help to you, eh?  So today, I measured and wrote everything down.  Feel free to add or subtract to suit your preferences!

The amounts of ingredients that I have listed will give you six (approximately 16-ounce) servings.


Today's Playlist
  • "Bella Notte".......Lou Monte
  • "Sh-Boom".......The Crew Cuts
  • "I Only Have Eyes For You".........Rosemary Clooney
  • "Pretty Little Angel Eyes".......Curtis Lee
  • "Beyond The Sea".......Matt Belsante
  • "That's Amore"........Dean Martin
  • "Mambo Italiano".......Alma Cogan
  • "Everything".....Michael Buble
  • "Come Fly With Me"......Frank Sinatra
  • "Come On-A My House"..........Rosemary Clooney




Beef Stew
Printable Recipe

  • 2 lbs. Sirloin Tip steak, trimmed of visible fat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 (14 oz) cans beef broth
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 lb (about 3 medium) potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)


Gather your ingredients.

Prep them all, so that they're all ready to go.

First, trim the outside fat from the steak tips.  It comes off fairly easily.  Here is a "before" picture.

I sort of lift it with the fingers of my left hand, while slicing with a knife in my right hand.  It pulls/slices right off.

Ta-da!

Then I slice the steak in half length-wise,.....


And chop it into bite-sized (maybe about 3/4") pieces.

And repeat until they're all trimmed and cut.

I've found that every supermarket has their own standards for trimming and packaging.  I used to buy steak tips at a warehouse club, but their steak tips were completely untrimmed, and the price savings was totally negated by the amount of trimming I had to do. 

What good does a low price do if I'm throwing away one third of what I've bought?


Slice your carrots and celery.
Peel and cube your potatoes.
Chop your rosemary and thyme.

Place the flour and beef into a large zip-lock bag.

Shake and toss the beef until it's all covered in flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large (8 to 10 quart) pot over medium/high heat.

Add the beef and stir it around to brown on all sides.

Remove the beef to a plate.

This is what you will be left with in the bottom of the pot.  You need all of that brown stuff.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the chopped onions.  The onions will immediately start to loosen the brown bits.

See?  I didn't lie to you.  I simply moved the onions from one side of the pot to the other and the brown stuff came with them.

Stir the onions around, and use your spatula to scrape up all the brown bits.

Then add the wine.  The acidity of the wine will definitely loosen what's left.

You can use any type of red wine that you like.  I know nothing about wine.  I used merlot.  I have no idea if this is good or bad.  All I know is that I need red wine and merlot is red.

I feel the need to keep showing you pictures of how easy it is to get the brown bits unstuck.

Add the mushrooms.  Stir them around for about a minute.

Add the beef broth.  Some of the members of my family like their beef stew to have a good amount of gravy.  Three cans of broth did the trick today.  If you don't like so much liquid in your stew, two cans of broth is probably enough for you.

Add the beef back into the pot.



Add the carrots and celery, and the potatoes.  Bring the stew to a boil.

When the stew begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the rosemary and thyme.
I don't think you need to add any salt, as the broth has plenty of sodium in it.

Cover the pot, and allow the stew to simmer for about 45 minutes.

What did I do for 45 minutes while I was waiting for the stew to cook?  I decided to change the fabric on the chairs in my dining room, a project that's been waiting in the wings for quite some time.

I have no idea why I finally decided that today was the day to start it.
This is before.

This is after.

I got two of them done.

I hope I don't wait until the next time I make beef stew to re-cover the remaining chairs.

After 45 minutes, the stew was done.

Enjoy!

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