Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Farmers Market/Garden Beef Stew

Dear folks,

I made my version of Beef  Burgundy yesterday for our Valentine's Day dinner (Deane is your basic meat and potatoes guy who will try a lot of things, but I try to give him a 'guy' dinner when I can :-)

This stew came together so nicely with a selection of herbs from my garden (I am The Herb Lady :-) and meat, potatoes and carrots from the Mesa Farmers Market - also some additional carrots from my garden.

About the herbs.  From left to right, sort of, are red celery (see my post yesterday about this variety),  red scallion, green garlic, lavender, conehead thyme, golden rain rosemary, and flat-leaf parsley..

Since yesterday turned out to be a dismal day, stew was the perfect dinner for the day.

Some of the vendors I got ingredients from were:
Funny Farms
Crooked Sky
Red Mountain Cattle (grass fed beef)
One Windmill

And we finished off dinner with Nicki (Cup Cake Cafe) chocolate cake pops - oh my!!

One of the wonderful things about stews is the ability to just wing-it with proportions.  Deane loves carrots so more carrots than potatoes.  I did this in a crock pot, so we could do some errands in the morning (one of those domestic realities - it is Valentine's Day, so we went shopping for things like paper towels, and some staple food items :-)

Stewing beef 1-4 pounds
1 cup of beef broth
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
5 red potatoes
7 medium size carrots
bottle of red wine (I used a Malbec - in the past I have used burgundy, Shiraz, and I would use an Italian Chianti or Valpolicella too)
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 each scallion and green garlic
small bunch each of parsley and celery leaves
1 sprig each rosemary, lavender and thyme

Chop carrots and potatoes into good size chunks.

Rinse meat, place in a bowl and sprinkle with enough flour to coat each piece.  Don't rinse bowl.

Melt butter and oil together in a good size skillet and brown meat on all sides.  Set meat aside.  Deglaze pan with broth or wine, scraping up all and pour into the crock pot.  Add wine or some of the broth to the flour used to dredge the meat, stir and set aside for thickening later.

Tie herbs in a bundle or push all down one side of the pot, place meat in bottom and add potatoes and carrots.  Add remainder of broth, all the vinegar and enough red wine to just cover.  Add peppercorns.

Turn crock pot on high for 1 hour, the reduce to low temperature and cook for about 6-7 hours more.  Beef should be fork tender.

Stir up reserved flour/wine mixture, add more flour and wine or broth as needed to make a slurry for thickening.  Ladle some of the stew liquid into a pot, bring to a boil and add slurry.  Stir until thick and add back into the crock pot.  Stir and serve with rolls, a salad if you like and enjoy!

Then have the cake pops!!

Have a great day,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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