Sunday, December 14, 2008
Really Good Beef Stew
After the beef and barley fiasco of last week, decided not to put barley in the stew this time. The cheapest cut of beef at Dominicks today was London broil -- basically a huge undifferentiated chunk of flesh. Cut half of it up into chunks -- maybe a little more than a pound. It was really lean.
Put a little oil in a frying pan and browned a whole medium size onion, sliced up. Dredged the meat chunks in a mix of flour, salt and pepper, and browned it with the onion. Some of the bits of onion got a little, uh, over brown, but since nothing set off the smoke detector, I wasn't worried.
With it all in the pan, I put in the remains of the box of beef stock I bought for the barley fiasco -- maybe a cup, or a little more, was left. Boiled and scraped the good stuff from the pan, threw in the rest of the dredging mix, and stirred until it started to thicken.
Transferred the whole mess at this point to my favorite pyrex bowl so I could put it in the microwave. Added a half a big can of tomatoes, including most of the juice from the can, realized I was out of carrots, so started it cooking at 50 percent power, and ran off to the store.
When I got back (about a half hour later) sliced up 2 and a half carrots (ate a half, since I was hungry) and about a cup of celery (mostly the ugly parts near the bottom), added some more salt and a little more pepper, and put it on 40 percent power for 50 minutes. I may have added a little more water, stirred it a few times, etc.
That's it. Really really good. Microwaved a few red potatos, smashed them up, and ate the stew on top of them. I am now completely stuffed, and have at least 3 more meals left. And I know it'll be better tomorrow.
A note: I've never liked to put potatos in the stew directly because they tend to absorb all the smells in the refrigerator, which in the case of my refrigerator are always grim, so I cook them separately. Turnips can usually stand up for themselves, but sometimes are a little watery. With a microwave is easy enough to zap some of these and add them as needed.
Will try it with paprika next time and call it goulash.
Here endeth today's cooking lesson.
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