Saturday, November 21, 2009

H's Beef Stew

On cold rainy days like these, its always nice to cuddle up at home and treat yourself to a steaming bowl of stew.

My previous attempts at making stew have not been very successful. I tried making Nonya Tau Yew Bak a couple of months back but failed miserably (apparently, the stew was not left to simmer long enough, resulting in tough strands of meat and bland tasting tau kwa).

H, on the other hand is a culinary maestro. She never fails to inspire. I am a huge fan of her rocky road brownies.

When H heard of my failed stew attempt, she generously shared her own favorite stew recipe with me. I tried it last weekend and am happy to report that it tastes delicious!

H's Beef Stew (serves 4)

The Ingredients

1kg beef (choose cuts which are suitable for stewing), cut into inch sized cubes
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, cut into big chunks
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp each of dry basil and ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp English mustard
1 rounded tblespoon of tomato paste (Hunt's brand)
1 small bottle of red wine
3 cups of water (or enough water to fully cover your meat)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbspn balsamic vinegar
Pita bread (slightly toasted)

Heat butter and fry onions under high heat.

When onions turn transluscent, add meat, ground nutmeg and herbs, stirring to prevent sticking to pot.
Pre-browned meat

Post browned meat

When meat browns, adjust to medium heat, add tomato paste and tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a pot. Add red wine, bay leaves and mustard. Stir well for 2 minutes. Then add water and balsamic vinegar.

Upon boiling, turn down to small fire. Add salt, sugar, carrots, celery and 2 potatoes and stew for 2 hours.

Thereafter, throw in the remaining potato and stew for a further 1 hour.

Viola. Its done!

Meat should be tender and break easily when pierced through with a fork

Leave to cool and put in fridge overnight (stew always tastes better when left overnight).

Serve with toasted pita bread the following day.

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