From the kitchen – random recipes from a week cooking

I’ve spent the last week at home, using up some vacation days before the end of the year.  It was planned to be a “staycation”, and Superstorm Sandy certainly guaranteed that.  I planned on cooking a lot and I certainly have.  Here’s what I’ve been up to…..

Beef Stew

Beef stew is one of the classic comfort foods for me and my husband.  It probably doesn’t  hurt that the sword and sorcery books we read often have the adventurers eating stew in some inn or tavern just before going off to save the world.  The ingredients are pretty standard; the process, not so much.

Take a 3-5 pound chuck roast.  Remove fat.  Cut meat into approximately 1″ cubes.  While cutting meat up, fry removed fat in large saucepan.  Add a cup of chopped onions and brown them almost burning them with the fat.  Add cubed beef and brown.  Remove rendered gristly bits and throw away; keep the fat and tasty brown bits.  Deglaze pan with one beer, preferably a dark beer.  Add onion soup mix with enough water to cover beef and cover pan, cook on low heat until beef is tender, about an hour.

While cooking beef, peel 4 medium potatoes, 6 medium carrots and two medium onions.  Chop into approximately 1″ chunks.  Place in stewpot with enough water to cover by an inch.  Add herbs and spices to taste, we usually use tarragon, sage, thyme, black pepper and garlic.  Cook until just tender.

Add beef to cooked vegetables. Cook together for 1/2 hour.  We find this keeps the beef the dominant flavor in the stew.  Continue reading “From the kitchen – random recipes from a week cooking”