Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stew Up Some Love in a Pot

My homemade beef stew and dumplings is something I’m sure will be the taste of home to my eleven year old son when he grows up. Here’s how I make it.

Brown small chunks of stewing beef on med-high in a big stock pot with 2tbsps oil, a few cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, meat tenderizer and some Beef Bovril. Once it’s good and brown (only about 5-10 mins) pour in 4 cups of brewed hot (or lukewarm) tea and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom to bring the flavour back into the meat.

Once it’s boiling turn to low and put the lid on. Let the meat get happy in the juices for at least an hour before you add some vegetables. I add carrots first and let them cook for half an hour before turning up to med-low and adding potatoes and dry quick cooking pearl barley. After the potatoes have been in about ten minutes I add other vegetables such as either canned or frozen such as peas, beans and corn and get ready to thicken the stew and add dumplings.

Dumplings: Mix up my dumplings (2 cups of bisquick mix and 2/3 cup of milk)
Thickener: mix up a cup of milk with ½ a cup of bisquick and add in a few glugs of beef Bovril.

I turn up the heat again to bring it all to a boil and then put in my thickener and stir. Once it’s good and thick I start adding dumplings by the spoonful onto the top. I put the lid on for ten minutes. Then, I separate the dumplings with a wooden spoon and stir the pot slowly, carefully not to sink the dumplings too much and then turn on low for ten minutes with the lid on.

This is a great double duty meal as well because you can help it morph into a different meal for leftovers. In this case, Beef Pot Pies! If you have loads of leftover stew, it freezes well. I love to put it into pie shells and freeze. It makes a great beef pot pie!


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