I'm working hard on tomorrow's post(do you like the Beastie Boys?), Friday's post, and all of next week's posts (do you like pizza?) so don't have anything to show you guys today! I was just going to skip a day, but as always the design team pulled through and sent me some pics of a meal they made last week! You know the deal. From now on it is not me talking, it's Kim. Unless you see italics, then that's me.
When it starts to get chilly, I start craving stew. I had a great beef stew last year at a little Irish pub, where they topped it with a puff pastry round. You break through the puff and all the flaky goodness crumbles into the stew making it a little thicker. It's like having a roll that is already dipped. When the temperatures here in New England dropped below 35 degrees, I decided to try to make it on my own. Unfortunately, when I actually had time to make it, it was the warmest weekend in October. No matter, it was still freakin' delicious... and now I have a freezer full of stew just waiting for me.
I started prepping the holy grail of stew starters, carrots, celery and onions. (Dan would call this a rustic chop)
Then chopped up a portobello. I didn't want this stew to be too mushroom-y so I just chopped up the one for the flavor, but more would be good if you want.
Chop up some potatoes and let em swim in some water till you're ready for em.
Mix em together and coat the beef.
Cook the beef in the pan with a little olive oil, you might have to work in batches to get the meat browned up real nice like. I think I used about 3lbs here....
Use a little dash of beer and tomato paste to loosen up all the yummy bits, but make sure to turn the heat down so it doesn't all burn away. I like to use a dark beer in beef stew, like a stout or brown ale. I'm using a brown here to add a some sweetness. After that, you turn the heat back up and add the onions, cook em till they are loosened up a bit, then add the carrots and celery and cook them for about 5-7 min.
Add about 5-6 cloves of garlic.
Add the rest of the beer and tomato paste.
Then add the beef broth, and spices. I used some fresh thyme, some salt and pepper and a little oregano. Let this simmer to a boil.
Well played with the spiral beef stock flow caught on camera.
When the mix is boiling, add the beef, potatoes and the mushrooms. You want to have enough liquid to cover the veggies, so you might need another beef broth, or you can use some cups of water with bouillon cubes.
Turn it down and let it simmer for a while. About an hour later, check the thickness, if it's too thin - you want to add about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to some water and add. You want to get all the lumps out of the cornstarch before you add it. Let it simmer for 30 Min.
I wanted the puffs nice and thick, so I doubled the pastry over and cut the one sheet into six pieces. It was really easy using the freezer pastry. Just thaw it, flour it and cut.
Watch the pastry dance around. TFIMB has officially made the leap to videos. Warning: There is sound. Turn it down if you don't care. Turn it up if you want to hear comedic banter about puff pastry.
They puffed up real nice. And are even better than making rolls with the stew.
Kim, your arms got really hairy all of a sudden! Oh wait, that's Rich. I didn't know he was there. Rich did you eat the mushrooms? I'm impressed.
That looks awesome!! Thanks a lot Kim!
5 Carrots (don't use baby, the flavor isn't as good)
4-5 Stalks of celery
5-6 Cloves Garlic
1 Portobello Mushroom
1 1/2 lbs Potatoes ( I used different ones, russet make your stew thicker, reds don't fall apart as much)
2.5 lbs Stew Beef
4 Cups beef broth, and 4 cups water with 4 bouillon cubes, or 8 Cups broth.
1 small can tomato paste
1 Beer, Brown or Stout
Flour, Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Cayenne to coat the beef.
1 tsp Oregano
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 Sheet Puff Pastry
No written instructions today. Follow along with the pictures and words. there are plenty of details up there. C'mon, its not that hard!