Best guess is we have lost A LOT of recipes, but there are still enough here to keep a half star restaurant in business for a couple years at least. SO, here's our newest one courtesy of everyone's favorite Secret Squirrel, DT!
I made a beef stew on Sunday. The three tricks to...
DT's LIP-SMACKIN' SLURP-A-LICIOUS MEAT STEW:
1) Start with a nice homemade bone broth--preferably one that you've SLOW simmered (with 2-3 T apple cider vinegar) for at least 24-36 hours.
2) Use LOTS of onions. I'll use 3-4 LARGE onions--as they break down, the provide time of flavor and said. Sometimes I'll use JUST onions, meat, broth and salt. Surprising how good it is.
3) Don't skimp on the meat. When I make a pot for our family of 6, I like to use 2.5 lbs. I'd probably use more, but I think my wife wouldn't be happy (she tries to make that giant package of beef cubes last as long as possible smile
If you don't have time, you can always buy beef bone broth. Make enough broth so you have sufficient in reserve to continue adding to the stew. I start with about 12 cups of broth and as it cooks down, gradually add at least 4-8 more. Before it's all said said done, you'll have 16-20 cups of broth concentrated back down into about 10-12 cups of increasingly rich, and thicker liquid. It makes for an incredibly rich stew with an incredibly nourishing broth filled with protein and calcium and other minerals. You can also just add water as it boils/simmers down, it just won't be as rich (it will still be concentrated since you're going from 12 to 8-10 cups of liquid)...
Make sure you skim all the fat off your broth before you start the stew (and keep your temps low while making the broth to begin with) or it gets emulsified into the stew (or broth) and it messes with the taste.
I also brown and drain the meat and then fry the onions until slightly translucent before adding the broth. You'll need at least 3-5 hours to get the meat tender.
If using other vegetables, is add aromatics like celery and tough roots like carrots or parsnips to the stew out of the gate (add later of you like them crispier). I would wait an hour to add potatoes and I'd wait until the last couple hours to include softer vegetables like green beans or corn in you're into that.
Add SOME salt, so you can get a taste of where the stew is headed, but because you are cooking down the broth (I will alternate 30-60 minute intervals with the lid on and off) hold off on "to taste" until you're getting close to the end.
A little oregano (2-3t dry) (fresh is ideal, but work with what you have smile );
Maybe a little thyme (1-2 t dry)
Salt and pepper to taste (I think I use at least a T of kosher salt, and 1-1.5T of ground pepper)
That's all you need for a delicious stew (the last two are really all you "need" if you don't have/like the others).
For kicks, you can try adding 1T whole mustard seed, and maybe 2-3t ground coriander. I am getting simpler as I age... mentally AND tastes smile Depends on the food I guess. Too many seasonings, and it can be a cacophony of taste.
NOTE FOR THE ADVENTUROUS:
I know some people feel this is a crime against humanity and will give me 20 forms of cancer, but I will often add a little MSG (2-3t) to make the meat pop, ESPECIALLY if I:
Don't have time to make bone broth;
Have to work with store-bought, or use regular broth;
Or am using venison.
MSG is a flavor enhancer, and it really makes just about any flesh much tastier grin It's a seaweed extract that has become the object of many urban legends in the past few decades... It's kinda the "anti-vax" movement of food...though it MAY trigger migraines for some people (not me though, and I am triggered at the drop of a hat... Where's my safe space??? grin)
Maybe I should put this in the Yard Cookbook
Super JYD #13
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