Hi F.G. I couldn't send you a PM as you have that feature turned off. But in response to your request, I am giving you an answer.
Originally Posted by fluffygrrl
My husband keeps talking about this incredible stu he ate once when he was out on business, and I'm not so good with stuff like stus. What do you think, should I give it a try ?
I think it sounds like a fine stew, but involves too much work.
Any way you make it, stew involves time. Stewing is a method of cooking cheaper quality meats to tender perfection, both making the meat more enjoyable, and decreasing the meal cost by putting filling veggies and other ingredients together with the meat. These ingredients compliment each other in flavor and nutrition. Plus, what's better on a cold November night than to snuggle up with your hubby on the couch with a big mug of stew in both of your hands.
Here's a classic stew just for you.
2 yukon gold potatoes
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
1 can whole-kernel corn
1 1/2 pounds chuck steak or roast
coarse-grind black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
dash of allspice
3 tbs. Sunflower or Safflower oil
Heat the oil in a 3 quart pot.
Peel the potatoes and cut into eight equal chunks. Peel and cut the carrots into bite-sized chunks.
Peel and quarter the onion, from top to bottom. Cut each quarter in half, sideways. Peel and dice the garlic colves. Place the prepared veggies, and minced garlic into the hot oil and lightly cook them, stirring every couple of minutes, until lightly browned. This will bring out their flavor better.
While the veggies are browning, dice the meat into 1/2 inch cubes. Remove the veggies to a bowl and set aside. Place the meat cubes into the same pot as you cooked the veggies in. Increase the heat to medium high and stir-fry the meat until lightly browned and the juices run clear. Turn the heat to simmer and lightly salt the meat. Add 1/2 cup of water, turn the heat to simmer, cover, and let the meat braise for an hour. Check every 20 minutes or so and add just enough liquid to almost cover the meat. The idea is to braise the meat to tender perfection without boiling away its flavor.
After the hour has passed, add the veggies, including the corn, back in with 2 cups of water. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper, a little at a time. Let the flavorings cook for about ten minutes and taste the broth. Correct the seasoning by adding more herbs, or salt, or pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium, cover, and let cook for about an about 30 minutes more.
Finishing act #1: Make a slurry of 3 heaping tbs. cornstarch with three tbs. water. Slowly drizzle this into the stew-pot while gently stirring. This should thicken the broth into a good gravy. Make more slurry and add it to the stew if required.
Finishing act #2: Melt 3 tbs. butter in another sauce pan. Add 4 tbs. flour to the same pan, along with a pinch of salt. cook over medium heat until the flour jsut begins to turn brown. Stir in a ladle-full of the stew liquid. Stir with a balloon whisk. The mixture should get very thick, almost like a dough. Not to worry though. Add another ladle-full of broth and continue stirring. Repeat until you have a thick, and silky-smooth sauce. Stir this sauce into the stew to thicken the remaining broth. Taste the gravy again. Correct the seasoning. Serve with whole grain mini-loaves, or whole-grain dinner rolls, and your favorite beverage (make mine milk please).
I prefer the flour based gravy. My wife insists on the cornstarch based gravy. So, I usually divide the stew into two parts and thicken hers with corstarch, and mine with the flour roux. Works for me, works for her. Hope it works for you.
You can play with this stew, adding things like sun-dried tomato, saute'd mushrooms, green beans, etc. You can do this. It's easy, if time consuming.
Oh, and thanks for the compliment. I hope I have given you a recipe that you will love.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North