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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

That's Funny, You Don't Look Stewish

Since it feels like it's been cold and raining forever around here, and there was lots of football on TV yesterday, I decided to make some beef stew.It was good,and we have leftovers for lunches, once I get through the end of last week's borscht.

The stew went over pretty well with the DW and DMIL, so I consider it a success. It was a good recipe for a football day.

This recipe is a mash-up of my two favorite European stew traditions; French Beouf Bourguignonne and Irish Stew. I like the French rich wine gravy flavored with onions, garlic and browned meat, but they typical presentation of a tureen with nothing but beef, mushrooms, scallions and sauce has always been a little disappointing.

I also like the Irish tradition of chunks of potatoes and carrots cooked with the meat. However, the Anglo-Irish flavored gravy of beer and Worcester sauce has never flopped my mop.

Therefore, in the tradition of Le Concorde, I applied the principals of Anglo-Francais engineering to make the perfect stew.

Anglo - Francais stew

You can do all the cooking in one stew pot,except for dredging the bef.

Start with about three pounds of stew meat. I bought a thick round roast on sale and cut it into lean cubes about one inch on each edge.

Dredge the beef cubes in about 1/4 cup flour,1 teaspoon salt, and a little pepper. Dredge in batches and brown the meat in small batches in the stew pot. Use a small amount of olive oil for each batch to scantly cover the bottom of the pot. A brown crust should form on the bottom of the pot. Set the browned meat aside.

Dice one large onion and 3 mince three large cloves of garlic. Gently saute or sweat in the pot with a little more olive oil. I probably used about1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in total, for the beef and onions.

Add about one cup of wine and three bay leaves to the pot and deglaze. Add the meat and enough wine to cover the meat. I ended up using a little more than 1/2 bottle. I used Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, quite a bargain at two bucks.

Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. I poked the beef chunks with a cake tester to decide that two hours was enough.

Add chopped potatoes, chopped carrots and chopped mushrooms. Add enough water to cover the now giant stew, and Cook for an additional half hour, or until the vegetables are tender. That's it!

I didn't measure the taters or carrots. I kept on shupping into generous chunks until it looked like I had "enough". I used red potatoes and smallish fresh carrots, both from the farmers market. I used an eight ounce package of sliced mushrooms from the grocery store.

I served this for dinner, along with some freshly baked Bisquick biscuits. The recipe requires 2 1/4 cups Bisquick and 2/3cup milk, however I had to add about an extra 1/4 cup of Bisquick to get a dough suitable for kneading and rolling.

The stew and biscuits made a great winter dinner, despite the conspicuous lack of green vegetables.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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