Food Porn

It's been a while since I shared some food porn, so without further adieu...

Beef Stew!!!




I don't actually use measuring cups or spoons, because I learned from my gramma and mom, and neither ever measured ingredients. So, heat some oil (I use olive oil) over medium heat and add stewing beef to the dutch oven, or pot, and salt it well, and I mean well. I also add a generous amount of ground pepper. I cook it with the lid on, generating my own stock. That's what the salt helps with...gets the ingredients to release their juices.

The beef stock I created tastes great! Cook for about 20 minutes or so, then put the cooked beef and stock in a separate bowl. I have my other ingredients at the ready, and start chopping while the beef is cooking...one whole onion, a couple carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, butter...and red wine...

The next step is creating a proper roux..basically fat (butter) and flour used to make a sauce, gravy, or cream soup base.




A healthy dollop of butter, and chopped onions, and salt, again, salt. Heat the onions until they start to sweat a bit, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add a teaspoon or two of flour and continue cooking the mixture until the onions soften, and the flour/butter mixture begins to thicken, about another 5 minutes or so. Now, add the red wine. 2 cups. That's my measuring cup there. It doesn't really matter to be exact, especially when it's wine lol. Still cooking and stirring over medium heat, cook the wine down. It will take about 10 minutes or so, and you'll notice a thickening as your soup base cooks up. Time to really get going with this stew!






Put the cooked beeef and stock back in the pot, and start adding your other ingredients. I added a little red pepper because I love the taste, and saute the mushrooms rather then popping them straight in the stew. I like the added layer of flavour of sauteed mushrooms. Stir the ingredients into the stew, and add enough water to just cover everything at this point. I also added thyme, that I had grown myself, and dried. It has a nice distinct flavour, so only add enough to add another layer of flavour to the stew. You can add parsley and a bay leaf (almost standard for any soup or stew) and more fresh ground pepper. Try something new, like cumin, or rosemary (another favourite of mine). Be creative and experimental!





I've added the sauteed mushrooms, and some snap peas, because I love snap peas. My husband isn't the biggest fan, but they're well hidden in the stew! At this point, I give everything a taste (I've actually been tasting all along as I always do, wondering what else it might need. More salt? More spice? More water? It's always a matter of preference.) I also added more water as the roux was still thickening, and will continue to do so throughout the cooking process. I brought the heat up to about medium-high, and put the lid on. I want it to come to a slow, rolling boil, stirring frequently, then I'll turn the heat down to just below medium and continue to cook it for about an hour and a half. I'd like to say at this point that our stove is very strong. When a recipe calls for med-hi heat, I go with medium. If the oven temp is supposed to be 350F, I'll go about 325F. Exact temperature isn't necessary, just keep stirring and keep and eye on it, and taste frequently!


WINE TIME :) this is for the chef.....




After about an hour, I checked the stew. It's looking great and smelling even better! I let it cook for another 15 minutes, then spooned it out into big bowls, because this is a big bowl kind of stew! Nothing beats a good stew on a cold day or night, or actually whenever! There are so many ways to make stews and you can find all kinds of recipes online, but I like the old-school methods that I learned growing up.

Pair with red or white wine, craft beer, water, espresso (whatever you like), whole grain baguette and butter, and your favourite person. He looks so dashing in that photo, if I do say so myself. :)

Hope you enjoyed this little piece of food porn! More to come. Share your recipes with us! We'd love to hear from you! Eat. Drink. Be merry!

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