Friday, January 1, 2016

Desperation In the Kitchen: Don't-Burn-The-House-Down Beef Stew: A Stew-Torial

A bit of a back story for you:
9 years ago tonight, I did a very brave and stupid thing. As any young woman should, I decided to make a meal for my hard-working husband. I have absolutely no idea what on earth made me think I could make beef stew when I had hardly cooked anything for anyone, EVER.

I found a recipe somewhere, and tried my best to follow it, while tending to an 8 month old. Well, something went terribly wrong somewhere, and I almost burned down my Dad's kitchen. Whoooooops. Dad was an extremely good sport, and Gabe brought home pizza that night. It was another 4 years before I would attempt beef stew again, with a recipe from Family Circle, I think. That time, I followed everything to a T, and double and triple checked everything (like the fire extinguisher) and it was delicious (and my kitchen was safe).

Tonight, on the 9 year anniversary of the Beef Stew disaster, I breezed through it, without the aid of a recipe and my family happily gobbled it up, and I didn't have to call the Fire Department or use my fire extinguisher.

So, here is the recipe for my Don't-burn-the-house-down beef stew.

What You Need
*A small onion, chopped
*Olive oil
*Salt, pepper, garlic powder
*A package (a pound and a half) of stew beef
*Beef Broth
*Worcestershire Sauce (it's not pictured, because I'm notorious for forgetting to set out at least one ingredient)
*3 large carrots, chopped
*Bay Leaf
*Egg noodles, cooked

What You do:

*Melt some butter and cook your onion until it's translucent and soft, set aside

*Drizzle your stew beef with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and flour

*With a bit of olive oil in the pan, brown the beef in batches, then set that aside too. Word to the wise: this is where things went wrong for me 9 years ago, I think. I think that the floured beef stuck to the pan and went ablaze. Don't be like 22 year old me!!! Make sure you have oil in the pan!

*Add some beef broth and worcestershire sauce to the pan, bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.

*Add in the beef and onions and simmer for 15 minutes

*Add in the carrots, and simmer 45 minutes, adding more broth if needed

*In a small bowl, mix up a few tablespoons of beef broth, with a little flour

*Add it to your stew and turn the heat up to high so it boils (this will thicken the stew)

*Heat until nicely thickened. Serve over egg noodles. Celebrate not having to call the Fire Department.
There you have it. As glad I am to have more of a working knowledge of cooking, I think this is a story that Gabe and I will tell the grandchildren someday. :)

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