I tried to incorporate all the helpful comments, and the recipe below is the new version.
suggested that it would be possible to cook this without using both a frying pan and a pot but it's not clear how I can do this without changing a main part of the recipe.
It would be possible of course to brown the meat in the pot and then set it aside on a plate, but that would hardly reduce the washing up. Of course it reduces washing up. One less pot to wash (pots being worse thanplates). Simpler, too. And the standard procedure for making a stew.
The photo is my first attempt with my new camera which arrived yesterday and I still have to learn what all the buttons do.
Thanks for all the feedback :-)
Beef Potato Carrot And Celery Stew Just call it Beef Stew as Andy suggests. 99.9% ofall basic beef stew recipes use potatoes and carrots.
Prep: 15 min There is NO WAY the prep will get done in 15 minutes
Cook: 2:10 min - depends on tenderness of the meat.
Total Time: 2:35 min
Serves 4 to 6
1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes I'd also suggest trimming the chuck
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed - canned or fresh Again, how can anyone know how many tomatos are in a can? You've just made the recipe impossible to follow if using canned, which most people including myself will.
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces All your vegetables seem too large in size to me. That will affect cooking time
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths - cut from top to bottom into thirds and then cut the thirds in half
About 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Beef or vegetable broth to half cover the meat How is a beginner cook going to know how much beef broth to buy? Again you've made the recipe unapproachable
5 cloves of minced garlic using a garlic press You do notuse a garlic press to mince garlic
1 tbsp of tomato paste
6 sprigs of fresh parsley or two tsp of dried
6 sprigs of fresh thyme - or 3/4 tsp of dried
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 tsp of red wine vinegar, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive or vegetable oil, for searing
Optional - 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
Season the beef with the salt and pepper and fry in a frying pan over a medium high heat until browned on all sides.
In a pot (with a tightly fitting lid)
that's large enough to hold all of the ingredients, fry the the onion over medium heat in either olive oil or oil and butter, if using, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Do you really want to brown the onion? That can make the stew bitter. Most recipes would sweat the opnion till translucent
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it's fragrant, about 1 minute more, being careful not to let it burn.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute or so more.
Add the beef with its juices to the pot and sprinkle enough flour to lightly coat the top of the meat, and cook stirring for another two to three minutes.
Add enough water or broth to cover about one half of the meat and bring to a simmer. Again, how can you cover half the meat? The right half or the left half? You are so much better off just telling them exactly how much liquid to use
If using fresh herbs, then tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.
Or add the dry herbs and the bay leaf.
Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and some black pepper, or to taste.
Cover the pot and simmer for around an hour, checking to see if you need to add more stock or water.
Check the tenderness of the meat by pushing a fork into it. The fork should pass through it but the meat shouldn't break up. Continue cooking for a little longer if necessary.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, and bring back to a simmer.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for around an hour more.
Remove the lid and increase the heat until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender.
Discard the herb bundle if you used fresh, or remove the bay leaf if you used dry.
Stir in the vinegar and season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
* Extra virgin olive oil burns more easily and is much more expensive. Regular virgin olive oil is fine.
* If using fresh tomatoes then please see the tips section on how to easily peel them.
* Many tomatoes can cause a bitter taste, so if the sauce tastes bitter then add a touch of bicarbonate of soda or sugar or both. Neither bicarbonate of soda or sugar reduces bitterness. Baking soda chemically reduces acidity. Sugar masks acidity but doesn't reduce it. Baking soda is bitter and can lend an off taste.
* Brining the meat will make it much more tender and might cut down on cooking time depending on how long you brined it. I only brine the meat for this dish for about 20-30 minutes. Brining anything but shrimp for 20 minutes is useless from a physics standpoint. Brining beef for a braised dish is also completely pointless. Also the salt absorbed by the beef will be given up into the liquid when its braised so the gravy will likely be salty.
* See the tips section on how to brine. A lab test showed that brining adds about 1/8 of a teaspoon of what? to each serving of meat and almost double that for chicken.