12 February 2013

Winter Beef and Potato Stew

Winter in February is harder then winter in January which is harder then winter in December. Harsh cold with no end in sight. On those days I just long for spring, despite the winter specific cozy home feeling I get on a blistering below zero day.  If I had to talk to spring right now...this is what I would say:

Dear Spring:

I know we have not spoken for almost a year. To be quite honest your immediate departure was not terribly mourned due to the arrival of your more popular sister Summer. But this is not said to insult you, only to acknowledge one obvious fact, and one not so obvious. I miss you. I look the most forward to your return every year. While Mr. Walczak has sought to accommodate the hole in my being that is best filled by the ever increasing prospect of warmer and warmer days, with his Winter Beef & Potato Stew, it is still no substitution. Very good, but not the same as your presence.

Yours longingly,

Until your spring hasn't sprung, if you're in the northern hemisphere that is, try Hubby's stew...it will warm you back up!

Winter Beef and Potato Stew
Serves 4-6 (1-2 for Americans)-This is Hubby humor : )

Recipe developed and written by Hubby!

Ingredient list for beef stew recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound grass fed beef for stew, cubed
4 medium-size potatoes, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped (excluding the stems)
4 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika
2 tsp course ground black pepper
2 tsp sea salt (plus a pinch)
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup flour
1 cup red wine

This is real easy. 

Start by combining the paprika, pepper and about half of the dried thyme, along with 2 tsp sea salt onto a plate (any plate will do). mix the spices together. Next take the beef, place in a colander, and give it a quick rinse under cold water. After the rinse sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the beef while still in the colander- let the meat rest for approximately 20 minutes (use this time to pour a cocktail for yourself and the Mr or Mrs). Next take the beef, and individually coat each of the pieces on the spice plate (after coating set the pieces on a separate plate). 

Heat the oil in a medium to large stock pot, before the smoke point, place the beef in the oil and brown on all sides. In a separate pan heat the other tbsp of oil, and prior to smoke point, place the onion, garlic and celery (in French called a Mirepoix which is three or more ingredients serves as a base for stews) and cook until the onion softens. Next combine the Mirepoix into the stock pot along with the beef, and cook on medium low heat for approximately 15 minutes. 

Now add the vegetable stock, and slowly add the flour, while rapidly whisking so as to prevent clumping. After approximately ten minutes add in the red wine, and stir in the remainder of the spices including the cilantro- cook for an additional ten minutes.

The last step before simmer is to add the root vegetables, so add the carrots and potatoes, stir in, cover and cook on low heat for approximately one hour, occasionally stirring. When the potatoes and carrots are fork tender, you'll know that your delicious dinner is ready.  

Crisp french bread along with the stew is preferred as well as the rest of that bottle of red you had to open for this recipe.

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