Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8th- Beef Stew

     If I have a main weakness in cooking, it is undoubtedly stew. I chose to cook it today to improve on my usual sub par stews, and to a point, I was met with success!
     If I could change one thing it would be that this stew did not come out thick enough. I wanted to make a roux from tapioca flour to thicken it but when I noticed I was all out, it was to late to turn back. You may want to add a cup or two less water than me.
     Or not. The broth is tasty enough to drink up after the meal to.

   This meal is great to take with you to work in a hot thermos, it really warms the soul when it gets below freezing and it tastes twice as good after a night in the fridge.
   Usually  I write more, but as I've just woken up...
Here's what you'll need!!

8 Cups Water
2 packages Dried Shiitake Mushrooms ( about 10 small mushroom caps )
1 1/2 cup gristle and meat ( usually I save whatever I cut off of steak from the night before. )
Salt to taste ( I probably used about a 6th of a cup. maybe more.)
3/4th cups leeks (julienne) 
1/2 cup green onions (Diced, greens and all. )
1 clove elephant garlic (or 3 to 4 cloves regular garlic )
2-3 medium potatoes (Sliced into thin circles )
Sunflower oil
2 lbs meat for stew (cubed)
1/2 White Onion (chopped)
2 stalks of baby Bok Choy 
Dash of ginger powder

     All in all I like the ratio of ingredients. They offered an American tasting beef stew while a few of the oriental vegetables gave it a slightly lighter feeling.
     Ok lets begin. like many of my recipes, this one  has a few steps. as I wont just ask you to go out and buy beef  stock or bullion cubes.
     On one last note...feel free to add 3 lbs of meat to the stew instead of 2. I think it would be better.
Lets Get Cooking!!

Make the Broth!

     First add the water, 8 cups into a large cooking pot on medium-high. Let it come to a boil. Then add all of your Shiitake Mushrooms and your 1 1/2 cups gristle. Don't worry, we're taking it out after it gives up its flavors to our broth. Add your salt and cover the pot. 
     Cover your pot and let simmer on low heat for a half hour to 45 minutes.

Add the Veggies!

     Not difficult, though not as simple as implied above. Gather together your leeks, green onions, 3/4ths of your garlic,  and your potatoes.  chop them up and throw everything but the potatoes in a lightly oiled pan. Saute them for about 40 seconds.
     Add in your potatoes and saute them for another 30 seconds. take them off the burner, and out of the pan completely for that matter. You don't want to burn them.
     Take the gristle out of your pot, but leave the mushrooms. Instantly add the veggies and stir. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

     Add the Meat!

     The most important step, if you ask me.
     Start by giving your meat a seer in some oil, accompanied by the rest of your garlic. Once its gotten a nice seer to it, throw in the rest of your onions and a dash of ginger powder. cook until onions are soft and then add it all to the pot. taste the broth and salt again if needed.

     Finish the Stew!
     Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, then chop and add your Bok choy. simmer for another 20 uncovered. Ladle into your favorite soup bowl and enjoy!
      If I had a restaurant, would I serve this?
     only the next day. it thickened up into a beautiful stew after about 16 hours.

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