Gord likes to cook and took a look through it. He decided to make the Classic Beef Stew for supper this evening (that's it on the cover). I like stew ... he's not a fan. Needless to say, I didn't say no!
I've basically copied and pasted the recipe and procedures from his blog.
This recipe is for a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker. The ingredients needed are:
- 2 tbsp (30ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs (1kg) stewing beef cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme or 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh thyme
- 1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry red wine (or beef stock)
- 1 cup ( 250 ml) beef stock
- 1 tbsp beef demi-glaze
He didn't have any demi-glaze or homemade stock. The idea of a demi-glaze is that it is an intensely flavored stock that has been reduced to a state of concentration to add a burst of flavor to dishes. Properly done it becomes very jelly-like. What he did was take a half a can of Campbell's Concentrated Beef Bullion, added about a half cup or so of regular beef stock to it and reduced in a pot 'til there was about a tablespoon left.
In a skillet on medium heat, add the beef in batches to brown. This takes about four minutes to do for each batch. Transfer to the slow cooker using a slotted spoon to save the juices in the pan.
Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook about seven minutes, stirring often until the vegetables are softened. Add garlic, dried thyme (if using fresh, set it aside) sea salt, peppercorns and bay leaves, then cook for only a minute.
Add the wine and continue stirring scraping up any beef bits that are stuck to the bottom or the pan (called deglazing). Then add the stock and bring to a boil. This is where you add the demi-glaze.
Transfer mixture to the crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours, or on high for three to four hours. If using fresh thyme, add it in 3/4 of the way through.
Make mashed potatoes and when the stew is done, pour it over top or to the side. We both had it to the side. The recipe says this serves six. We used a red potato which was too creamy ... I'd suggest you use a drier potato or have chunked boiled potatoes.
It was delicious and yes, Gord can make it again sometime :) There is lots left over for tomorrow. Yay!