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Old 01-08-2009, 09:48 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
Using flower as a thickener at the end is tricky and hard to do. Instead you can use instant mashed potato flakes as a thickener or make a rue and add it in.
I prefer corn starch. Mix with some cold water, pour in. Works great, imparts zero flavor.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #62
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No offense, but it is a Roux. In South Louisiana, you always add as many letters as possible to spell a work. LOL Adding it at the end is tricky, and requires additional cooking time to mix well. I also use chuck roast. Per pound it is cheaper and much better than stew meat. I guess they charge extra because of the cutting, which takes about 10 minutes. I also use turnips instead of potatoes. I cook beef stew a couple times a year, and then freeze it in portions. Potatoes, as most of you know, do not freeze well. They turn meally in stews and vegetable soup.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #63
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Can you add some flour at the end, if you decide to thicken the stew? Is it better to mix the flour with boiling water before adding it?

Second, does anyone use leeks for flavour?
I frequently use leeks in mine.

I prefer to thicken with flour. No, you can't mix the flour with boiling water. It will immediately turn into an unmanageable lump. Put a few tablespoons of flour into a high-sided bowl (I use a 2 cup measuring cup). Slowly add regular tap water stirring with a small whisk or tablespoon until it's liquid enough to stir briskly. Stop adding water and stir briskly until it's smooth and lump-free. Slowly drizzle and stir it into the stew until you almost have the desired consistancy. Cook a few minutes more. Don't overthicken, since it will thicken more during the final few minutes of cooking.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:38 AM   #64
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BONES! Roast some bones and get as much gelatin out of them as possible in your stock pot. I really think homemade stock is what sets a good stew apart. There is no faking that flavor.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #65
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Can you add some flour at the end, if you decide to thicken the stew? Is it better to mix the flour with boiling water before adding it?

Second, does anyone use leeks for flavour?
Not advised...As others have said today, and in the past...make a roux...flour and oil...brown the flour...add some water..make a gravy of sorts...add that in for thickening and flavor.....

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:08 AM   #66
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If you are going to make a roux, make alot. 3 cups oil, 3 cups flour. Let it cool completely and put it in a jar in the fridge. That stuff keeps in the fridge forever. I love it to cook Roux Peas. They are ready in about 10 minutes.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #67
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I want to make beef stew tomorrow, but I don't have stock on hand. Besides, the stock at the supermarket that I bought a few months ago contained gelatine, which is usually made of pork (I don't eat pork).....

This means that I have to make stock myself. But can I just add some meat with bones, or some marrow bones to the beef stew, instead of using stock? Thanks in advance....
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #68
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the stock at the supermarket that I bought a few months ago contained gelatine, which is usually made of pork (I don't eat pork)
Does it say Pork on the can? Gelatin comes from bones, which is what creates "stock". I've had Beef and Chicken stock but I've never seen Pork stock.

If you want to avoid gelatin, then you would use "Broth" which is made from meat or vegetables, but no bones.

Adding meaty bones to a stew or soup will always improve the overall flavor. Near the end the bones are removed and any big chunks of meat are cut smaller.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #69
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I always brown the meat completely before starting the stew.
I make my own sauce and among other things, I add red wine and 2 Tbsp. of beef demi-glace to make the sauce (gravy) richer and have a deep flavor. I love my beef stew and do it in the crock pot.
The other thing that makes it so good is that I always make it a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge for the flavors to meld. This is one of those things that gets better and better.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #70
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Adding meaty bones to a stew or soup will always improve the overall flavor. Near the end the bones are removed and any big chunks of meat are cut smaller.
I used to do this all of the time, but I haven't lately. You just don't find beef bones the way you used to in my grocery stores anymore.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:08 PM   #71
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Lots of garlic and red wine!
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:16 PM   #72
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Sorry, I editted my message almost at the same time you answered, lol..
LOL thats OK, yes I do actually measure. For instance to thicken up a stew I will remove as much water as I can, lets say 2 cups. I will set it aside to cool enough so that it is not boiling otherwise it will be harder to work with. Then I take 2tbsp butter and 2tbsp flour for each cup of liquid I removed. The idea is to make the liquid really really thick because when you add it back into the stew the liquid still in there will thin it back out. So for me, I almost make a thick gravy out of the liquid I removed.
I used to have Wondra, which is a flour product that you can actually throw right in the stew pot to thicken and it will never clump or taste of flower, but after I used it all up I have not seen it around here. I am sure it is still out there, I just keep forgetting to look for it LOL.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:58 PM   #73
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Does it say Pork on the can? Gelatin comes from bones, which is what creates "stock". I've had Beef and Chicken stock but I've never seen Pork stock.

If you want to avoid gelatin, then you would use "Broth" which is made from meat or vegetables, but no bones.

Adding meaty bones to a stew or soup will always improve the overall flavor. Near the end the bones are removed and any big chunks of meat are cut smaller.
It was beef stock.. it didn't say pork, but I've read that when you come across the word "gelatine", it's usually made of different bones, including pork...

Thank you for the advice...
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:00 PM   #74
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Ohhhh I roux the day I brought up a rue....
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:02 PM   #75
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LOL thats OK, yes I do actually measure. For instance to thicken up a stew I will remove as much water as I can, lets say 2 cups. I will set it aside to cool enough so that it is not boiling otherwise it will be harder to work with. Then I take 2tbsp butter and 2tbsp flour for each cup of liquid I removed. The idea is to make the liquid really really thick because when you add it back into the stew the liquid still in there will thin it back out. So for me, I almost make a thick gravy out of the liquid I removed.
I used to have Wondra, which is a flour product that you can actually throw right in the stew pot to thicken and it will never clump or taste of flower, but after I used it all up I have not seen it around here. I am sure it is still out there, I just keep forgetting to look for it LOL.
Thanks for the advice
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:07 PM   #76
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I used to do this all of the time, but I haven't lately. You just don't find beef bones the way you used to in my grocery stores anymore.
Yes, it's sad that nowadays people don't use meaty bones anymore...in the past most dishes were cooked with meaty bones, it's delicious and can't be compared to boneless meat..
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:17 AM   #77
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And I rue the day that I believed Buddy when he spelled "roux", 'cause I repeated it.....
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:31 AM   #78
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And I rue the day that I believed Buddy when he spelled "roux", 'cause I repeated it.....
Um... just a quick tip for ya.. never never ever use my spelling!!
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:51 PM   #79
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I made it. Unfortunately, the meat wasn't good, the stew would have been so much better with better meat. I will never buy beef again, VEAL is much better in my opinion!!
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:43 PM   #80
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What cut did you use for the stew? Could you tell us your procedure and ingredients?

I find the best cuts for stew are usually the toughest, gnarliest cuts out there. Those particular muscles were really worked hard by the critter, and have a slightly stronger taste. Personally, I use either chuck, sirloin, or round steak. If you buy a roast and cut it down into pieces, you will save money as the price / pound is less than pre-packaged "stew meat".

Also, I make a point of making my own stock, usually in 2 gallon batches, then freezing the stock in ice cube trays, and storing the cubes in gallon ziplock baggies. This way, whenever I want to make a stew, I have homemade, high-quality stock, full of gelatin, which gives a good stock it's body and flavor. I don't make "pork" stock, but rather, I always keep chicken, beef, and shrimp stock on hand. As long as there is lots of cartiliage and skin in the chicken stock when I'm simmering it, LOTS of gelatin will render out. As long as I go to the Asian grocery store, I can pick up some beef knuckles, which are LOADED with cartiliage. It usually takes 24 - 36 hours for that cartiliage to break down into gelatin, but is well worth the wait. I have even been known to make a small batch of beef demi-glace if I get a really gelatin-rich batch of beef stock.
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