I got a crazy notion to try homemade beef stew in the crockpot last night – I think I was looking for comforting, cold weather food. Too bad it has been in the 70s and sunny for the past week…I’m ready for WINTER!
I made a few mistakes in my recipe, so next time I’ll (hopefully) know what to do differently. I didn’t brown the meat first, and I cooked it either too long or not long enough – a few pieces were tough. I threw the meat it in the crock pot and coated it with flour, salt, and pepper. Next time, I’ll dredge it in flour, THEN brown it in a skillet, THEN add to the crock pot. To the crock, I added EVOO, celery, carrots, onions, green bell pepper, garlic, sage, thyme, and some mustard powder, then covered it with beef bouillion and let it cook on high for a few hours.
About an hour before we were ready to eat, I started on the mashed potatoes – we had the stove working quadruple duty last night! Good thing we didn’t trip a breaker!*
Once the potatoes were done cooking, I added some margarine and sour cream and mashed the crap out of them. It was quite cathartic!
On the stove picture, Mom was cooking bacon for a particularly
unhealthy hearty salad that my dad is currently obsessed with – it features bacon vinaigrette and is sure to take a few years off your life. It’s good, but I don’t think it’s “worth it” to me…
So back to the stew – I added some tomato juice to give it a little more depth of flavor, and then when it was getting close to dinnertime and it was more watery than I would’ve liked, I ladled off a good bit of liquid and reduced it in a saucepan on the stove (but not before bubbling over and creating a most amazing smoky stench). All in all, it turned out really well for just throwing stuff in the pot and hoping for the best! Before I try it again, though, I want to look at some beef stew recipes and see what seasonings they use. This was lacking something….
*So we didn’t trip a breaker maxing out the stove, but our water heater DID crap out and flood its room last night. We were wading in about 1-1.5 inches of water, hastily moving stuff we’ve been storing in that room, and I found my first camera buried in all the old stuff. Naturally, I took a picture with my DSLR:
My little pink LeClic…I loved you.
As if the water heater room flood wasn’t bad enough, the wet vac motor overheated and exploded in a burst of smoke and fury, causing me to open doors and windows for the second time in a span of about 3 hours to let out the smokestank. Good thing we had a second wet vac and about 8 billion towels. I broke down in a mixture of hysterical laughing and tears a few times, but at least we got the situation under control for now.
And thank goodness I’m a member of the Y, because I think I’ll be showering there this afternoon.
What’s your favorite kind of stew? Do you tend to follow recipes for that kind of thing or just throw stuff together?