Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I wish this looked as good as it tasted

Old-Time Beef Stew
America The Beautiful Cookbook Copyright 1990

3 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes I only used about 1.75 lbs
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped I sliced two medium onions
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour I accidentally added too much, making my gravy too thick
1 cup beef stock
1 ½ cups dark beer I used Coors Light lol
1 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the beef cubes dry with paper towels. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the meat, a few pieces at a time, until well browned and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onion; cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic; cook 4 minutes longer. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot. Add the beer, sugar, vinegar, thyme and sautéed meat. Heat to boiling. Cover and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Let cool. Reheat, covered, on top of stove and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

I loved this stew! I debated over several stew recipes - some including carrots - but settled on this one and it was so good. It had a touch of sweetness which I liked. I overthickened it a bit but otherwise it was perfect. I would definitely make this again. They tell you that it's best reheated but it tasted pretty good when I tasted it right out of the oven too.

This is a large softcover cookbook that offers authentic regional American recipes. It's the kind of cookbook that you can just flip through over and over. It has lots of great pictures and commentary too. This beef stew recipe is supposedly something that is popular in Wisconsin. This book was part of a series and I'm kicking myself that this is the only one I purchased.

Okay, time for the Question of the Day. Do you eat red meat? Why or why not?


The Cookbook Junkie said...

Obviously I do eat red meat, although in moderation. I usually have lean ground beef on hand and I'll occasionally pick up other cuts - only if I see them on sale or marked down.

One thing that confuses me about beef is that it seems like I'm always seeing new cuts and I'm not always sure how to cook it. What can you do with those lean little steaks?

Beef (and the same goes for pork) usually looks too lean to have any flavor. I'm really not crazy about the lean ground beef either but it beats having to remove all that grease from the meat when you brown it.

Kara said...

Yes I do. Partly because there are days when a steak is the best thing in the world and partly because of the year I gave up red meat entirely and ended up with anemia.

Just so you know, I really enjoy this site! I just wish I had time to cook, but since I don't I can enjoy your cooking in the meantime.


H0kie Erin said...

I eat red meat too. More than I would like because I cook for my parents as well as just us and my father has "issues" with chicken. If I could I would have chicken 5 out of 7 nights for dinner. Just love the stuff. I do think I've digressed. :)

Randi said...

I dont eat red meat because I have psoriatic arthritis and when I was 21, my doctor told me to give it up because it contributes to inflamation. I also think ground beef is vile and for the most part, contaminated.

MommyProf said...

Yes, but I don't fry ground meat at home very much (I feel like the smell takes forever to go away).

I don't mind meat, and I think it offers important nutrients that are difficult to get elsewhere. But I am not so excited about cooking it.