Sunday, January 5, 2014

Simple Beef Stew

Here is my January Column as it appeared in the January 2nd Edition of The Hinton Voice.


[As I write this, the snow is falling and I’m sitting here in my fuzzy pyjamas with a steaming cup of tea.  I absolutely love how beautiful snow can be – as long as the scenario in the sentence before this applies.

My husband’s job involves long wintery days working outside in well below freezing temperatures – temperatures that I hardly even feel comfortable shoveling the sidewalk in.  As a result, when he comes home at the end of a long, hard workday, the first thing he wants is a bowl of something warm.  In fact, most days when I ask him what he’d like for dinner that night, he replies with a request of just that - “something warm”.

Beef stew encompasses all that is warm and cozy, and is the perfect meal to accompany a cold wintery day.  It holds up as a fancy Sunday night dinner, and also fairs well as an easy weekday meal.  My favorite thing about stew is it’s great ability to diversify.  It can be cooked on the stove, in the oven, or even the slow cooker.

The meat is the star of the dish, so as long as you have a decent cut (tenderloin is our favourite), the rest of the ingredients are variables.   Any root vegetable would go well in a stew - sweet potatoes, turnips and parsnips frequently make an appearance in my pot as well.  The broth can be any combination of beef drippings, tomato juice, wine, or even beer (the latter being my husband’s favorite). 

Whether you’re spending a snowy day outside, or bundled up at home, I hope you  enjoy “something warm” at the end of your day.]

Recipe Serves 4

Ingredients
- 1 lb beef of choice
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp each oregano, rosemary, and granulated garlic
- salt &pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 3 large potatoes
- 2-3 medium carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 1 L beef broth
- 1 bay leaf

Directions

Chop beef into bite sized pieces and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and spices. Toss beef with flour mixture, being sure to discard any excess flour.

Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and then add olive oil.  Cook meat for 5 minutes, or until browned on each side (the meat doesn’t need to be fully cooked here, the key is just to lightly brown the outside).

Add chopped carrots, potatoes, and onions, cooking until onions are slightly translucent. 

Add beef broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer stew for about an hour, until the meat is cooked through and the base of the stew has thickened.

- Nutritional Info (per serving) -

Calories - 361   Fat - 9    Carbs – 32     Protein - 39   Fibre – 3


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