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Beef Stew #2 April 24, 2010

Posted by marksun in beef, stew.
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April 10 2010 with Lib, Marion, and Dori over – made beef stew which came out pretty good.  This one I used tomato paste.   More often I use tomato sauce.  Making stew without some canned tomato product would be Beef Stew #3 .

Ingrediments.

beef broth, or water

1/2 large onion sliced
3 stalks celery sliced 1/2 x 1/4″

2 lb lean boneless stew beef cut up into large pieces
1C or more flour in a large bowl to flour the beef with.  The leftover flour will be used to thicken the stew later on.
Pepper, salt (optional)

1 C flour in a large bowl

1 can tomato paste
1/4c red wine
1T worchestershire
2 bay leaves

4 russet potatoes – peeled and brown spots removed
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Preparation and Cooking

Chopping: cut the vegetables first and set aside.  Potatoes may be  chopped later or they may brown up waiting to cook.  Cut up the beef and add to the flour to cover the beef. Salt and pepper to taste.  Remember, the tomato paste has salt.

In the first phase of cooking we deal with  ingredients that can take a lot of cooking and where a overcooking is  not a big potential problem.   Cut up the onions and celery and put into bottom of the stew pot with a tablespoon of  olive oil then brown on medium heat.   Add the beef to brown and reserve the extra flour for later.  If things start to look dry because there is not much oil,  add a bit of water to prevent sticking.  This will tend to melt the flour off the beef but that’s ok.    The ingredients will be pretty hot by now. Back off the heat and  add some water to prevent burning.
Phase 2 –  Simmering and stewing.
Once the ingredients have tendered up some and the beef browned a little, add the tomato paste, bay leaf, wine and water or broth to just cover everything.   Let the heat build gradually on Medium,  then back the heat to medium low to simmer – the liquid is hot but not boiling.  Cover and simmer gently for an hour or more.  You can drop the heat and slow cook, there are many ways to handle this phase.

Phase 3 of Cooking – the other vegies-
Add potatoes and carrots and cover with broth or water.  The timing challenge is to have the beef cooked to tenderness without overcooking the potatoes and carrots.   The size of the potatoes and carrots will determine how soft the carrots get.   Simmer until potatoes are nearly cooked.  The potatoes are your guide to stopping the cooking.

Phase 4 of Cooking – thickening.
Add water to the flour to form a thin paste.   Drizzle the mixture a little at a time into the post, stirring gently.  The stew will thicken.   If you overdo it with the flour, add some water.  Sometimes I like the stew thin like a soup,  sometimes thick.

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