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Friday, September 26, 2008

brit-ish beef stew

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it's getting cold here. i hate it. i love that my ac is off and i can sleep with the windows open but i still hate the fact that i have to burrow under my comforter and i detest the early morning crispness. however the cooler air does relieve the heat in the kitchen when i'm baking and/or cooking. and i made a lot of stuff this summer. it doesn't look like i'll be slowing down for autumn. for a warm supper and jab's lunch i made a hearty beef stew. he loves him some beef stew and corn bread.

Beef Stew with Anchovies and Thyme
adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat

3 tbls olive oil, plus more if needed
3 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into chunky strips about 1.5 - 2.5 inches
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in fat matchstick-size pieces
4 inner stalks of celery, finely sliced
6 anchovy fillets, well drained and minced *
2 tbls dried thyme or 1.5 tbls fresh
2 tbls Marsala *
2 cups robust red wine
1 1/4 cup beef stock
2 heaping tbls all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp mace *
1 tbl tomato paste
freshly milled black pepper
salt if necessary

Preheat oven to 300degrees.* Put a casserole on the stove with oil. heat and then brown the meat briskly in batches; do not overcrowd the casserole or the meat will steam rather than sear. Remove the meat to a plate and then, first adding more oil if necessary, toss in the vegetables, anchovies, and thyme. Cook, turning frequently, on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is beginning to soften. While this is going on, heat the Marsala, wine, and stock in a saucepan and remove when it reaches boiling point.

Return the beef to the pan and then stir in the flour. After a couple of minutes or so, pour in the wine mixture and stir well, then stir in the tomato paste and then mace and some pepper. Taste and add salt, if you want.

Put on a lid and then cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Remove, cool and then keep in the fridge until needed.

* i omitted those ingredients or skipped that cooking process. reason being, i don't use Marsala at all to warrant buying it and it'd just fester in my pantry and i think jab would balk at the thought of anchovies in his stew. i am not a red wine drinker and wouldn't the know the first thing about buying a bottle so i just added more stock to the stew. i did not cook the stew in the oven, i let it simmer on the stove top for about 2 hours. also, i added some potatoes, which i cubed and fried like the beef to have a thick outer layer. this prevents it from crumbling and mushing in the stew.

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Cornbread
from the Goya Cornmeal package

1 1/2 cups Goya Yellow Cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbls double acting baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 tbls butter or margarine melted

Preheat oven to 400degrees

1. Grease muffin pan (12 molds) or line with paper cup (altho, i just used a round pan)
2. In a bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and butter.
4. Combine the west and dry ingredients until just mixed.
5. Distribute batter evenly among the cups (or in my case, to the round pan). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Today's soundtrack: Priscilla Ahn, Dreams

Last note, don't forget about the Save the Boobies Project, aka Boobie Bake Off!

9 comments:

  1. The cornbread looked excellent. I have always loved stew, I haven't thought of making any of my own before. I heart mushy vegetables. Munching on crunchy ones tire me out. LOL.
    I will try your recipe soon.

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  2. These lunch ideas are so inspiring. I know you started doing it for Jab, but I hope you keep doing it for us! :) Seriously. I WISH I put so much thought into my daily lunches!

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  3. andie -
    the bread was surprisingly easy to make too! :) next time i would like to add diced onions and jalapeno peppers for some added punch. the veggies came out soft, i'm not a fan of crunchy ones either! i hope you do try this recipe altho i imagine it's pretty warm in your part of the world right now :)

    marye - oh it is! jab actually had his for breakfast, he couldn't wait.

    shannalee - i am so glad you like the lunches, hopefully it'll motivate you in your daily lunches. jab gives me ideas of what he likes and i go from there.

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  4. Oh, I've been craving some cornbread, now I have your recipe to make it for our FREEZING So California weather! ;)

    I just love your beef stew pictures. The close ups just make my stomach growl. What a lovely dish and combination for a cold day!

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  5. white on rice couple,
    thank you for stopping by! i remember the cooler So. CA weather all too well. i hope this stew will warm your bellies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. white on rice couple,
    thank you for stopping by! i remember the cooler So. CA weather all too well. i hope this stew will warm your bellies!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These lunch ideas are so inspiring. I know you started doing it for Jab, but I hope you keep doing it for us! :) Seriously. I WISH I put so much thought into my daily lunches!

    ReplyDelete
  8. andie -
    the bread was surprisingly easy to make too! :) next time i would like to add diced onions and jalapeno peppers for some added punch. the veggies came out soft, i'm not a fan of crunchy ones either! i hope you do try this recipe altho i imagine it's pretty warm in your part of the world right now :)

    marye - oh it is! jab actually had his for breakfast, he couldn't wait.

    shannalee - i am so glad you like the lunches, hopefully it'll motivate you in your daily lunches. jab gives me ideas of what he likes and i go from there.

    ReplyDelete