Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall for Stew

Can someone please let Mother Nature know that it's Fall here in Orange County?  She's obviously confused, as I should be in chunky, cozy knits, leather boots, and scrumptious scarves, drinking $39 Starbucks must-be-made-of-gold-lattes (seriously! Wassup with your pricing, Starbucks??!!!) shopping for may-jah coats in preparation for winter.  Instead we've got an Indian Summer here, wearing spaghetti strap tops, silk shorts, and very little else.  This heat wave makes it too hot to even accessorize properly. (gasp! The horror!) 

One of my other favorite things for Fall has always been my hubby's Beef Stew.  It's a hearty, but not too heavy, easy dish, that gets me excited for the upcoming Winter. The flavorful steak, with the tangy tomatoes and crunchy vegetables, makes for a great family meal.  Serve it with hot, crusty bread, and even Mother Nature will be begging for a bite!

Beef Stew

3/4 cup Celery, chopped
1 small Yellow Onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup Carrot, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 New York Steaks (3/4lbs each)
  *Can use lesser cut like Chuck Roast
1 can Stewed Tomatoes (like S& W)
1 1/2 - 2 cups Chicken Stock
3 tablespoon Tomato Paste
All Purpose Flour
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Old Bay Seasoning
Granulated Garlic
Salt & Pepper

It all begins with the mirepoix.  Hubby says it's the "Holy Trinity" of any soup, sauce, or stew.  Put your onions, celery, and carrots in a pan and saute it with butter and extra virgin olive oil until everything becomes translucent, but not too soft.  Add Old Bay, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. 
Take your steak and slice it into 1 inch strips, leaving the fat.  Hubby says it's important for the flavor.  Lightly dust it with all purpose flour and salt & pepper.  Saute in a skillet until it's a light golden brown.  Turn off the fire and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan.
Add the can of stewed tomatoes and tomato paste to your mirepoix, followed by the rest of your chicken stock (1 - 1/2 cups).  Stir, then add the steak.  Cover and put on low heat for 15 minutes.  Add your favorite vegetables (green beans, turnips, potatoes, peas, etc.) to the top, but don't stir!  You want it to lightly steam.  Cook for another 15 minutes.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy a bowl of Fall's stew.

Juicy bite!