Beef Stew

I’ve never been a big fan of beef stew until I made some a few months ago. Maybe my tasted buds have “grow-up” but the stew was just so warm and hearty. The beef was so tender and the potatoes and carrots were hearty and cozy. The whole dish just gave me the feeling of being wrapped tight in a warm,  blanket. I was probably experiencing a carb high but whatever the feeling was, it was great.

This past weekend, I made another batch of stew and it was just as good at the first time. Typically, beef stew has red wine in it and a bit of vinegar but this time I left those ingredients out and I think it made the dish even better. Being able to customize a dish exactly to your taste is one of the best parts of home cooking.

I would seriously encourage all of you to try out this recipe. If you’re on the east coast like I am, the forecasters are calling for a bit of snow this weekend. This stew would be the PERFECT snowed day meal. If you do decide to make this beef stew, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out.

Happy Eating!


Ingredients:

4 stalks of celery                                              5 carrots                                           1 shallot

1 yellow onion                                                2 cloves of garlic                     1 lb of beef for stew

1 stick of salted butter                                  1/4 cup of flour      4-6 cups of chicken/beef broth

Fresh thyme (according to taste)                3 golden potatoes           1 can of peas

Salt/Pepper/Garlic/Onion powder to taste

Directions:

  1. Dice 3 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, shallot, onion and garlic into small pieces.
  2. Season vegetable and cook in a dutch oven until soft in a bit of butter or oil. Remove from pot when done.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, season the meat. Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.
  4. Using about a tablespoon of flour, very lightly sprinkle over meat.
  5. Transfer meat to a lightly oiled pot (used the same dutch oven that the vegetables were cooked in) and brown on all sides. Be sure not to completely cook the meat. Remove from pot when done.
  6. Using the butter and flour make a rue in the same dutch oven. To make a rue, melt the butter in the pot. When hot, swiftly wisk in the flour stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to smell like “cookie dough” pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Be sure to wisk fast during the entire process or the rue to be lumpy.
  7. After your rue has been made, add in the remaining chicken broth and stir together.
  8. Chop up the remaining carrots and celery into big chunky pieces. Quarter the potatoes
  9. Combine the meat, diced vegetables, carrots, thyme, and celery into the pot and cook for about 20 minutes. Taste along the way and add seasonings if desired.
  10. After about 20-25 minutes, add in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are done.
  11. Eat, enjoy and be happy!

mierpoixbeefstew

A few notes about this recipe:

– I cooked everything in the same cast iron pot so that I could retain as much drippings/flavor as possible. Plus I didn’t feel like washing a TON of dishes.

– As usual, I didn’t measure out the seasons. People’s tastes vary so much so season this dish according to your taste. Use your best judgment!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale

Hey There Guys,
How’s life? How have things been going with you all? How was your January? I can’t believe that it’s already February. I feel like the next time we blink and look up it’ll June.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to eat more meals at home so all January long I’ve been whipping up quick and (sort of) healthy meals. One dish that I keep coming back to is roasted chicken. Believe it or not, I used to never cook or eat chicken at home. For some reason, whenever I would cook chicken I would end up not eating it and just throwing it away. I just found the dish extremely boring no matter how much I tried to fix it up. While I still can’t see myself buying and cooking chicken breast, drumsticks, or thighs I have started roasting whole chickens. I think being able to roast a moist and flavorful chicken is a basic cooking skill everyone should master. There are just so many ways that you can season it and use it. It’s such a versatile dish. From one chicken you can at least make 3-4 different dishes and it can literally last you days.

I’m sure many of you already follow, No Crumbs Left, but one day as I was going through her website, I found her recipe for Heroin Chicken. I looked so flavorful and perfectly seasoned so I decided to give it a try. I must admit I was skeptical at first because a lot of times I find that blog recipes often turn out bland because they don’t call for enough seasoning but this recipe was different. The chicken was so flavorful. (You all should really try it) One thing that I really liked about this recipe was that it called for the chicken to be butterflied and marinated for two days. Before to making this recipe, I had never butterflied a chicken so that was a technique that took some practice (happy to report, I have now mastered it!) but I found that it made the chicken must easier to season and carve. In addition, marinating it for two days led to a chicken that was perfectly seasoned inside and out. It was just perfect! This recipe was just great! I know that from now on, I will ALWAYS butterfly my chicken and marinade it for 2+ days before I cook it.

Like I said, roasted chickens are great because there are so many things you can do with them. After we picked most of the meat off the bones, I decided to use the carcass to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. The perfect chicken made the perfect soup. It was savory and lemony and perfectly seasoned. Soup is always a great dish to make out of scraps. It’s forgiving and you can practically add anything you want to it. Below is the recipe for the soup that I made!

I hope you all consider making this soup or consider trying Terry’s Heroin Chicken. If you all do decide to make either dish let me know how it turns out.
As always, be sure to leave a comment and I’ll see you all in my next post!
Samantha

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale

1 Lemon pepper chicken (leftovers)                                                  1c orzo
2 bunches of kale (cut into bite-sized pieces)                                  3 bay leaves
4c chicken stock                                                                                      Juice of ½ lemon
Salt/Pepper to taste                                                                                 1 bunch of thyme (tied)
½ teaspoon of lemon pepper chicken                                                 2c water
2 cloves of garlic

Process:

Combine all ingredients except for the orzo and kale into a large pot

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes

Bring to a boil and add in orzo. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the orzo is done

Halfway through cooking the orzo add in the kale

Continue to cook until the orzo is done and the kale is soft (or to your liking.)

Remove the thyme and the bay leaves.

 

LemonChickenOrzo2