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.