Ode to Stew
Oh, Stew, how I do long for you on cold, blustery evenings,
With your stewy goodness and sometimes unidentifiable ingredients.
You're the best of meat and vegetables and wine cooked for hours on end.
So flavorful and thick and bone-sticking, you warm my soul and fill my belly.
Though low cal, you may not be,
You don't leave me raiding the kitchen for chips and sweets just a few short hours later.
Thank you for not leaving my side or my crock pot during the long, gray days of winter.
You'll need, 1/4 c. flour, 1 T of kosher salt (plus more later), 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp of thyme, 5 cloves of garlic (I just use several tablespoons of minced), 1 large carrot or 2 small (peeled and sliced), 2 medium yellow onions, 1 stalk of celery (I forgot to buy this), 2 pieces of bacon, 2 lbs of stew beef, 2 c. of red wine, several T. of olive oil, a little chopped parsley and a slow cooker
Mix together the salt, pepper and flour, dredge each piece of beef in the mixture then...
(Oh, yeah, keep what's left over of the flour)
Pop it in a medium hot skillet with a T of olive oil, brown the meat in batches for a couple of minutes on each side. (The meat will be raw on the inside.) Add dashes of oil as needed then put all meat in the bottom of the slow cooker
Peel and chop the carrots, dice the onions...
Then cook the two slices of bacon in the same skillet you used for the beef until crispy, crumble and add to the slow cooker. Don't clean the pan, use the bacon drippings to brown your veggies.
After the onions, celery and carrots have browned a bit (about 5-7 minutes), add the garlic, thyme and the salt/pepper/ flour mixture left over from browning the meat, cook for a few more minutes.
Add the red wine and bring to a boil (this will cook off the alcohol and leave you with lovely flavor, you usually don't want to add wine directly to a slow cooker because you might be left with alcohol flavor)
Pour the veggie/wine mixture over the meat and bacon. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6.
Delicious! The wine reduces down with the juices of meat and veggies, and combined with the flour it's thick, rich and yummy. If you want a more 'soupy' stew, add a little beef broth when you boil the veggies and wine. NEVER add water to a soup, you'll dilute all that fabulous flavor!
Rich and flavorful. Hearty enough for a dinner by itself with some thick, buttered slices of bread.
Don't you want to eat that bite...sorry, already done did! Make it yourself!