Finally found a keeper of a stew recipe

by DaniGirl on October 7, 2013 · 5 comments

in Eating and thinking and thinking about eating

I am posting this here partly to share, but also because I want to remind myself how I did it so I can do it again!

I have been looking for a hearty beef stew recipe for ages, and I’ve tried a few flops over the last few years, but this is the first one where I feel like I got it right. I started with this recipe from Canadian Living, and followed the basic instructions here for browning the beef, adding the onions and the flour – I think this was the part that made it a thick, tasty stew instead of the more soupy stews I’ve made in the past.

I didn’t have any stock, so I used a bit of something called Better than Bouillon with three cups of water and one cup of red wine. (I started out in the grocery store looking for bouillon cubes, but have you ever read the ingredients in those things? Yikes! I was trying to find one with less sodium, but they’re all thick with MSG. This is the only one I could find without it. I may just substitute veggie stock next time, as it was still a tad too salty.)

So I put all that on the stove in a big pot around 1 pm and let it simmer. Around 3:30, I chopped up two turnips, a handful of fat mutant carrots from our Roots and Shoots share, most of a leek and two cloves of garlic (also from R&S) and dumped those in. About an hour after that, I chopped up four potatoes (also R&S – I love my CSA share!) and put those and another cup of water in. About an hour after that, I popped about 3/4 of a cup of frozen peas and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes. So good! I learned today that if you put the veg in too early, it gets mushy, but leaving the meat to simmer for hours tenderizes it.

I meant to take a photo before we ate it but it smelled too good and we were starving. See?

I’ve been working really hard lately on making dinners from whole foods sourced locally where possible. We did pretty good on this stew – most of the veggies were from Roots and Shoots (the farm is about 3 km from here) and the beef was from O’Brien Farms in Winchester via the Manotick Village Butcher. Best of all, four out of five of us loved it and the fifth one tolerated it, so I’ll take that as a win.

Time to swap out the BBQ for the soup pot. Got any good soup recipes to share this autumn?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous October 7, 2013 at 9:21 am

Oh, do I have soup recipes! I will email them, too many for comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Jan October 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

THE best soup I have ever tasted….Curried Sweet Potato and Apple. YUM!!

3 Janet October 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I’m a big fan of this incredibly simple potato leek soup from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (great cookbook, btw). I usually use one sweet potato and 2 regular potatoes. Also, I use melted butter instead of oil. You can also throw in carrots or any other vegetable you have on hand too.

My kids think this is the best soup on the face of the earth:

Both of these soups are tasty and super fast and easy to make on a weeknight.

4 kate October 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I discovered beef stew last winter or maybe spring. I make my own beef stock… it’s very easy and so, so much more tasty and nutritious than anything you can buy in a store. For my beef stew, after I brown the meat, I add a few diced prunes with onions and garlic, a cup(ish) of red wine then two cups(ish) of beef stock plus a tbsp or two of flour. I simmer it for 2.5 hours(ish) then add whatever veg I have for the last 30-45 minutes. Amazing.

5 DaniGirl October 8, 2013 at 6:18 am

Yum, thank you all! I’ll work my way through them and let you know how I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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