Autumn

Autumn

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Irish in Me

Rises to the surface when we have stormy gray days. I'm in the mood for stew.

You'll need...

A few ingredients. Beef stew meat, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, fresh garlic, and carrots. I also include a few dried peppers.

Then, place one of the above on the stove.

After the Dutch oven is hot add some olive oil.  Once in a while I use bacon fat...but, olive oil is healthier, its not as tasty as the bacon grease but it makes my wife and doctor happy.

As the oil heats prep your onions, garlic and potatoes. We'll slice the mushrooms and include them last.

Flour your stew meat and place in the hot oil in batches. Do not crowd the beef. You want to brown it not steam it. I use two pounds of beef. Brown and remove.


As you remove the meat, season. I use 'Slap Ya Mama,' but any good Creole seasoning is fine. I also sprinkle it with a bit of Kosher salt.

When you've finished browning the meat throw in the onions and cook until translucent. Then the garlic. The natural juices of the onion will partially deglaze the pot. In effect we're making a rue.

Above, after the onions are to your liking slowly return the meat to the mixture, increase the heat and pour about one cup of good beef stock and stir. It will thicken. Careful with the stock. Add small amounts as you begin to build the stew.

First the potatoes, then carrots. I slice my mushrooms and add them after all other ingredients are in place. Season again. Now bring to a gentle boil...again, easy on the stock. You want it thick.

Above, as I waited for the stew to reach a boil I ran outside and clipped a couple of sprigs of rosemary. I like the flavor it gives the stew. Your taste may vary...

After the stew reaches a gentle boil reduce the heat and simmer for several hours.

Serve with a good loaf of French bread and your favorite beverage...nothing like a good stew on a cool windy and rainy day.

Enjoy.

Stephen






26 comments:

  1. I realized for the first time, that even in Florida, there's a change of seasons that effect our senses. I'm suddenly wanting hot chocolate at night even though it's still fairly warm. (especially to us from the north). Today I browned pork chops, layered orange marmalade over them, and simmered for an hour. I've never put mushrooms into my stew. Now I'll have to try it.

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    1. Joy, this change of seasons is limited to North Florida...and it isn't as dramatic as that above Mason-Dixon. And, as far as being from the north and cold, just wait until you experience a humid low thirty degree day. I've lived all over the world and take it from me the South is capable of a huge pucker factor when mother nature wants to show her butt. Your pork chops sound good. Mushrooms, trust me.

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  2. I have looked for Slap your Mama here in the Pac NW and haven't been able to find any. Is this a SE spice?
    What are the ingredients in it?

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    1. Anon, go online, or google for SYM..its out there. As far as the ingredients...too lazy to walk in and look but it's fairly simple; salt, red pepper, black pepper and garlic. And, yes, its limited to the blessed Southeast.

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  3. Daggumit! You made me drool on the keyboard!

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  4. I had a chicken soup simmering all day on the woodstove. I do a lot of one pot cooking. You stew looks wonderful.

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    1. Me too, Sixbears. I love my one pot stews and soups. Thanks.

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  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Yum! I use just a pinch of "Tony Chachere's' Creole seasoning and add celery to the onions & garlic. The stew gets topped off with Bisquick dumplings the last 20 minutes of cooking. When the dumplings are cooked, ladle dupmplings and stew on a large plate and then add a damn good size wallop of catsup on top!

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    1. Phyllis, Tony's seasoning is, in my humble opinion, just as good as SYM. You mean to tell me you don't hand make your dumplings? And, dear Phyllis, ketchup on my stew would draw a strong rebuke...no way. That's downright Un-American. Thanks, my dear.

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    2. Never heard of mushrooms in stew, never heard of ketchup in stew, never gonna combine the two either.

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    3. Now, Joy, mushrooms make wonderful things happen in one's life....

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    4. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Just try it, Stephen. I have been using catsup on stew forever. Just think of it as a sweet tomato on the side! Even use it on scrambled eggs. I guess it's just a Joisey thing....... :0)

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  6. Looks mighty tasty Stephen, where's my bowl?

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    1. It awaits your arrival, Dear Lady. I'll always have a bowl or dish ready for you. Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  7. Now I know why all y'all are so far away: it's to stop me from dropping by with a bowl in hand. Looks GOOD!

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    1. See, we are the reason you are so svelte and good looking...otherwise you'd gain weight. No thanks necessary...take care my good friend.

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  8. dear sweet one - i just made a ginormic pot of stew today to bring to the potluck supper! mushrooms are a must in stew but people around here are a little iffy on mushrooms - so i had to leave them out! but the best stew in the world starts with some chopped anchovies cooking in the broth with the meat! the broth must be home-made. and this is my little trick that i am sharing with you. a few chopped anchovies. they disintegrate in the broth but really bring the flavour out in the beef. people have died for sharing this info with other folk. i am willing to take on death to share this trick with you. your welcome!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. I remember you mentioned anchovies in a long ago post..and I forgot. But, I will warm the stew today and make an addition of chopped anchovies in your honor...I'm forgetful in my upper middle age. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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    2. oh dear sweet one...i sent all of my stew to the potluck supper...sure wish i had have kept some aside. can you mail me some of yours?

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    3. The package should arrive sometime soon...it might smell bad but don't worry...it'll still taste fine. All our love.

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  9. Replies
    1. Thank you, my fine friend. Some days just require a good stew.

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