Put down that can of chunky soup! Put down that tin of store bought stew. You can DO this!
There – did I get your attention? Today’s recipe is for beef stew. Although I feel bad calling it a recipe, because really, I never do it exactly the same way twice. I also don’t really measure anything, but I’ll do my best for you!
When I decided to make stew today I didn’t want to run to the grocery store, so I did a mental inventory of my freezer, fridge and counter, and knew I had enough things in the house to do it. I’m going to give you the ingredients and portions I used in this batch. It was a really good one, so if you try it, I hope you like it too.
2 pounds Stewing Beef
2 tbsp. cooking oil
¾ cup white rice flour
Salt and pepper to taste (approx. 1 tsp. each)
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
Onion, chopped (1/2 cup, or more if you love onion)
Garlic, chopped (1 tsp., or more if you love garlic)
Assorted vegetables (on this day I had three potatoes and a sweet potato on the counter, so I used those, and three carrots as well)
Heat your cooking oil over medium heat in a large pan. While it’s heating, put the flour, salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Cut the stewing beef into bite size chunks, and put in the bag. Close the bag up, and shake vigorously. This will coat the meat with flour. Place the meat, garlic and onions in the now hot oil, and cook for a few minutes, stirring now and then, to brown all sides.
Next pour in broth to cover. Truth time – I used chicken broth in my beef stew, because that’s what I had on hand. You could use vegetable broth or beef broth too. Whatever you have will work just fine. Add in the tomato soup. I used a frozen jar of soup I’d made in the summer. Mmmmm. Add in the chili garlic sauce. This is available in the Asian section of the grocery store, and it packs a punch, so don’t go overboard!
Now, cover and let simmer on a lower temperature for a couple of hours. The house will smell fantastic. About 45 minutes before you want to eat, add in the other vegetables. Try to cut them into equal size pieces, so everything cooks evenly. I used potatoes, sweet potato and carrots. You could easily use celery and turnip as well. Improvise! You may need to add a little more broth at this time to keep everything covered and cooking happily.
When you’re ready to serve, check your seasoning. You may need to add a little more salt or pepper, depending on your personal preference. If it’s a little too runny, stir 2 tbsp. of cornstarch into some water (1/4 cup or so), and add to your stew, stirring as you go. This should thicken it up nicely.
1) The quality of ingredients will make a big difference to your taste and stew quality. I use grass fed beef. It is SO tender! I use organic broth as well.
2) This doesn’t have to be gluten free. If you don’t have dietary restrictions, go ahead and use regular flour.