New England Entree
Hardy Beef Stew
Settle in on a frigid winter's night, while this delectable beef stew simmers on the stove.
Pour flour, salt & pepper in a paper bag. Add stew meat and shake to coat. Heat oil till shimmering in a heavy stew pot and brown beef cubes. Set beef aside. Pour off most of the oil, leaving the brown bits in the pot.
In the stew pot, saute bacon with onion and carrots for 5 minutes. Drain most of the bacon fat, add garlic, and cook 2 more minutes. Add beer, broth, and vinegar, deglazing the pot. Return the meat to the pot, cover, and simmer gently over a low fire for 1 hour .
Add the vegetables and continue to simmer 30-40 minutes, till tender. Serve immediately.
(Of course, like all soups and stews, this one's best if made a day (or even two) ahead of time.)
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee), a bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square. Usual herbs include parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and peppercorns. They release their flavor during long cooking. Used to flavor soups and stews and removed before serving.
Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.
Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!
Piecrust: Store-bought versions are heaven-sent for those who have neither the time nor the know-how for good homemade piecrust. But for those willing to make their own, the payoff is great. See our recipe for Noel's Pie Crust.
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