Beef Stew? You might think, that’s not very exciting, and you would be wrong, my friend. The beauty of this dish is you can use a cheap and otherwise tough cut of beef and come out with amazing flavor and texture. Serve it over roasted potatoes and man, oh man; you’ve got a meal that will put Dinty Moore and Hungry Man to shame. No processed crap. Just honest, good food.
The Stuff You Need:
For 4 servings:
2 or 3 Tablespoons Lard*
1/3 to 1/2 cup Rice flour**
1 pound stew Beef, cubed
a few Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 medium to large Onion, diced
1 stalk Celery, sliced thin***
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ coins
1/2 teaspoon dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
3 large Portabello Mushrooms, cut into 8 wedges each (about 4 to 6 ounces)
2 large cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry red Wine****
a few shakes of Worcestershire Sauce*****
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 large Bay Leaf
2 Cups Beef Broth******
How To Do This:
- Cube your beef and lightly dredge in rice flour. I do it “Shake n’ Bake” style in a plastic bag.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of lard (or oil) over medium heat in the bottom of a dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot. (Que Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” on your stereo).
- Brown the floured beef cubes in fat, just for a minute or so on each side, turning with tongs. Do this in small batches, about 12 cubes at a time, so you don’t overcrowd your pot. When browned, remove the beef from the cooking pot and rest on a plate.
- Once the beef is all browned and resting, move your cooking pot to a low burner and add the beef stock.
- In a large frying pan, add a little vegetable oil and cook the onions and celery until tender. When done, scrape them into the broth.
- Add a little more vegetable oil to your fry pan, if needed, and then lightly brown the carrots. When nearly done, add the mustard and cumin and stir well to combine. Lightly season with salt & pepper. Scrape this mixture in with the broth, onions and celery.
- Lastly, brown the mushrooms in the fry pan, adding a little more oil if needed. When the mushrooms are almost done, add the garlic, continue cooking for just a minute, then add the wine, carefully, and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the fry pan. Let the mushrooms sit for a minute or so and then scrape them into the stew pot.
- Now put the beef and the juices into the stew pot and add the bay leaf and Worcestershire.
- Cover the stew pot and let it simmer on low heat for at least an hour.
- Serve over potatoes, rice or pasta. Garnish with fresh chopped scallions or parsley if desired.
*I use lard for this because it imparts more beefy flavor. You can substitute oil instead, but not butter, because it will burn, and that will piss you off. I would also recommend My Blue Kitchen Tomato or Ancho favored oil for an added boost of flavor.
**You can use regular flour if you are not gluten free, in which case, I envy you.
***Feel free to use the less pretty bits. You know, that floppy stuff with the leaves and shit. Trust me, no one will ever know.
****White wine works fine too, or a little more broth; it’s just to deglaze the pan and add a flavor boost.
*****Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free. I don’t know about the other brands.
******I found a gluten free bouillon, BOU, that is very flavorful and not too salty.
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