Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Monday, October 30, 2023
A few days it was very cold and my inner clock signaled it was time to make beef stew, the first time since last winter. I am always trying different stew recipes and this one came from Cook2eatwell hosted by Elizabeth. The original recipe can be seen at this link.
BEEF STEW by Cook2EatWell
Calories: approximately 359 per portion
1 pound beef sirloin tip, cut into small bite sized pieces
1½ teaspoon salt divided (1 teaspoon for the beef, ½ teaspoon for the stew, plus extra at the end if needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil or use your favorite vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
2 carrots, cut into rounds or half rounds depending on their size
1 celery rib, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, leave these whole or sliced depending on preference
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef broth, low sodium if you can get it
12 ounces red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
Season the beef with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the beef.
Cook the beef for 3-5 minutes until browned. Stir and turn the pieces occasionally to brown on all sides.
Add the mushroom and continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes until they start to turn golden in spots.
Next, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Next, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
Add butter and when it melts add the flour. Cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
Raise the heat and add the beef broth while stirring briskly, gently scraping any bits off the bottom of the pot. Continue stirring until the flour mixture is absorbed.
Bring the broth to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook the beef stew for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and keep it at a simmer. Raise or lower the heat as needed.
Add the diced potatoes to the stew and raise the heat to bring the broth back to a boil. When it is boiling, lower the heat to medium to medium-low to keep the broth at a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Add salt to taste if needed.
Serve with slices of bread for dipping, or a nice crusty roll. You can go without as this is a very hearty soup.
Notes from Elizabeth, the blog host:
"Beef – Use sirloin tips for this stew because it is a tender cut of meat without requiring a long cooking time. However, beef chuck is a common cut used for stews. Beef round and brisket can also be used, but they will take more time to breakdown and become tender.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze the stew, cool it quickly and place in airtight containers that are appropriate for freezing. Remember to leave an inch or two to allow for expansion. Label and freeze for 2-3 months.
Gently, reheat the soup in a covered saucepan over medium-low to low heat until heated through (at least 165°F), stir occasionally – or reheat in the microwave.
For more information on food storage and safety guidelines visit U.S. Department of Agriculture at foodsafety.gov."
We didn't buy the sirloin tips and purchased sirloin beef strips by mistake. These were thinly sliced but they seemed to work well. I think I would just go ahead and buy stewing met next time and cook it longer.
We added extra vegetables that we like, the carrots, potatoes and the mushrooms.
The broth turned out wonderfully tasty. I think cooking everything in the pan before adding the broth, enriched the flavor tremendously.
I always add a glass of red wine when adding the beef broth. I watched a cooking show once, can't remember what it was now, but after adding the wine the flavor seemed to go up a notch. Then of course you can have a glass with the meal, so buy your favorite red if using.
When adding the flour I always add a little extra by heaping each tablespoon. The original recipe thickens it nicely, but we like it even a little thicker. Entirely your preference.
A really delicious soup and one we happily added to the 'make-again' folder.
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Sunday, October 29, 2023
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Friday, October 27, 2023
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
I was very happy to see the Monarch Butterflies on our last visit. They seemed to like these orange flowers particularly. They are Mexican Sunflowers and I will have more information about them in another post. This time I am concentrating on the butterflies. I haven't had any luck taking photos of butterflies this past summer. I haven't seen many at all, whether this was because of bad timing I'm not sure. I know they are another that has been put on the endangered list, and that is troubling. The following information came from this website. I read: "Each Fall millions of monarch butterflies migrate to overwintering sites in Mexico and to a scattering of locations along the coast of California. In the spring monarchs return to breeding areas and the cycle begins again: a two-way migration that is one of the most spectacular on the planet. Yet, this migration appears to be declining. Some theories include: