My celebration after NaNoWriMo was to cook a nice meal. I haven’t done it in a long time so I dug out my cookbook, Looneyspoons one, that has given me a ton of awesome recipes. Since I wasn’t feeling well on Saturday night, I decided to do something more soup or stew style to warm my body up.
Final decision: Beef Stew with French Herbs (in the book its called STEWpendous Beef).
Makes 6 servings
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
*2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2.5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
*2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
*2 bay leaves
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large thin-skinned potato, unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 large carrot, chopped
*1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3/4 pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup frozen green peas
*2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle beef lightly over with seasoned salt. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot (preferably non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add half the beef cubes and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are lightly browned. Remove from pot and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and beef cubes Set browned beef aside.
2. Add onions, celery and garlic to same pot (add olive oil or 1/4 cup beef broth to prevent sticking). Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 mins. Return beef cubes to pot and stir in Herbes de Provence. Add beef broth, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Make sure its low simmer)
3. Stir in white potatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer for 25 more minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix cornstarch for 2 tbsp water until smooth. Add to stew. Mix well and continue to cook until stew is bubbly and has thickened. Stir in peas and parsley and cook just until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes.
Its been so long I haven’t written a recipe post that I almost forgot how to do it.
First things first are modifications. Anything in the ingredients list with an “*” was stuff I didn’t have so was not used. Also, somehow I couldn’t get it to do a low simmer. Old stoves are a little cranky. So I did occasionally stir it to reduce the simmer and cut the initial simmer time to 1 hour instead of 1h 15 mins. Oh, and I just noticed that it was supposed to unpeeled potatoes but I didn’t see that the first time. Oops~my bad!
Its my first time making any sort of stew so I wasn’t sure what the consistency should have been, like how thick it should be but I thought it was well enough. Its very tasty as it is. I think with more veggies like sweet potatoes and all, it would’ve enhanced the taste more. I will definitely make this one again with ALL the ingredients.
Still, its a nice hearty stew and did the job well to make me feel all warm. 🙂
Do you like beef stew? What veggies or spices do you like in yours?