Friday, October 27, 2006

Don't look at the picture

Classic Beef Stew
Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes Copyright 2002

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 can (10 oz) condensed beef broth, undiluted
½ cup dry red wine or water I used red wine
2 bay leaves
finely chopped fresh parsley I omitted this

1. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic, thyme, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add beef broth and wine and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add bay leaves.
3. Transfer mixture to slow cooker stoneware and stir thoroughly to combine ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is very tender. Discard bay leaves. Just before serving, garnish liberally with parsley

This stew was actually very good, albeit a bit too salty, so please forgive the horrible picture. There are some things that just don't photograph well (at least in the hands of an amateur like me). Quite frankly, I'll only fuss with a picture so much before giving up because I'm more interested in eating my dinner than getting a great picture.

This had good flavor but, as I mentioned, it was too salty, probably because I used cooking wine and forgot to leave out the salt, although the condensed broth might be what put this over the top. But I'll take too salty over flavorless, which is how a lot of beef stew I've had has been. I like a more robustly flavored stew.

This is a great slow cooker cookbook. You know how you can tell a good crockpot cookbook? There are no recipes using boneless chicken breasts. Boneless poultry should not be slow cooked.

I didn't get to go grocery shopping last night. I hate when my schedule gets thrown off.

A Blast From The Past: Classic Yellow Cake and Creamy Frosting from October 2005. I brought these to my son's Halloween party last year. This year (today) I brought the crackers! I just didn't have time for anything else this year and homemade treats are officially not allowed, although they unofficially don't have a problem with it for these parties which I always attend. Personally, from the allergy aspect, it doesn't matter to me since my son can't eat most of either safely. As long as the homemade treats aren't served to my son without my consent, I'm fine with the treats being allowed since they do enforce the no peanuts or nuts rule so contact reactions would be unlikely. At least I know he can eat the stuff I make when I actually get around to making something for these parties and I do send in a homemade cupcake for him when they have bakery cupcakes to celebrate birthdays.

Question of the Day: Did/will you make any Halloween treats this year?


Anonymous said...

I baked some cupcakes with my neice, but we just used a doctored up mix and canned frosting because it was going to her school. Btw, why do you use cooking wine? I always use 2 buck( 3 in MI) chuck from Trader Joe's. Its decent for cooking. Oh and I use vermouth a lot too in recipes that call for white wine. its a good substitute.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Randi, there are no Trader Joes here and even if there were, the state really controls alcohol sales in this state. They have loosened up a bit, opening some wine and spirit shops on Sundays and maybe even allowing outsiders to sell it (I'm not sure about that) but for the most part, you still have to buy wine from the state in this area.

I use cooking wine because I don't drink wine on a regular basis and cooking wine lasts for ages in the cupboard and for the most part I've never had a problem with the saltiness since recipes usually only use 1/4 or 1/2 cup. I wouldn't use it to make Coq au vin or anything like that but I'll be damned if I'm going to buy an entire bottle of wine everytime I need a small amount for a recipe.

Anonymous said...

I always make my six grandchildren a "Trick or Treat" sack of goodies as well as an applicable one for each holiday. I have always made at least some homemade cookies for it, along with other snack items. This year I just didn't have the time so they got decorated bakery cookies (probably much better) instead. Also in the bags - trail mix, goldfish crackers, granola bars, etc. No candy! They'll get enough of that elsewhere to properly rot their little teeth!


ThursdayNext said...

I am going to make some sugar cookies in the shape of Halloween pumpkins and bats on Tuesday.

Wanda said...

No, not this year... The past few years, I've been doing more decorations in the yard, and sitting out there to hand out treats, so I really can't be in the kitchen. Before, I would make or have varying amounts of Halloween foods - dinner-in-a-pumpkin and/or chips with 'spiderweb' dip and/or cut-out, decorated sugar cookies and/or pumpkin bread and/or jack-o-lantern face pizza etc. etc. But then, I used to stay in the house, and just answer the door - and have help in doing it. This year DH and DS are working out of town, so it's just me and DGd.