Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beef "stew"

Yesterday I made progress on one of my goals to make more soups/stews. It is rather chilly here in Houston and before the rest of the nation complains that they are colder and have lower numbers on their thermometer, I ask that you all remember that it is relative. Us Houstonians think that anything below 90 degrees is nice weather, especially if the humidity is low. When the warmest it gets in several days is 35 degrees and the wind chill and humidity help punch that coldness in your face then we think it is pretty gosh darn cold...

But I digress...

I had leftover scraps of top sirloin from a dish my mom made, potatoes, some odds and ends of frozen and fresh veggies, and some Shiner Bock on hand so naturally a beef stew/soup formulated. This is a method, not a recipe and can be easily tweaked to satisfy the contents of your pantry and your taste buds...

Cut beef into bit size chunks (manly bite sizes, not wimpy bite sizes) and put into crock pot. Top with some sort of dry soup mix ( I had vegetable soup mix on hand), dry beef bouillon, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add one can of beef broth, a Shiner Bock ( I guess you could use another beer, but why?), two cans of water and a bag of frozen soup veggies (I was trying to clean out the freezer and pantry...use whatever kind you like). Let cook on low setting for about 4 hours and go shop at Target. When you come back, add onion (chunks please), carrots (peeled chunks), potatoes (unpeeled chunks), and celery (you guessed it...chunks). Let that cook on low for another four hours or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, put crock pot on warm. Add frozen peas about 30 minutes before serving.

I will say that I wish I had Kitchen Bouquet on hand to add to this. It was a really great soup, but lacked the thickness of a stew. I recognize that I could have taken the time to brown the meat with flour in a separate pan, then deglazed the pan with the beer and stock to add more depth of flavor, but I didn't want to...this was so easy...and it meant I could go shopping at Target!!!

You could serve this with more veggies on the side or a nice, crisp wedge salad, but I highly recommend you have a good crusty bread to soak up the extra broth with.


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