week two: beef stew

My second dinner and adventure into the cooking world comes in the form of a warm, winter specialty, perfect for a cozy dinner at home by the fireplace: beef stew. Now, my mom has made this ever since I was a little girl and it has always been one of my favorites, so I was excited to learn about this week’s meal. Also, it never seemed terribly difficult to make, so there’s that too. hehe!

*BEEF STEW*

Ingredients:

  • meat (sirloin steak, shoulder or top cut-2 packs)
  • ~4-6 carrots
  • ~1-2 potatoes
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 onion
  • 1 packet of onion soup mix
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • spiral noodles (side dish)
  • salad (side dish)

Prep:

  • defrost meat and cut into cubes
  • peel and chop potatoes and carrots
    • *designated boyfriend task alert* 😉
  • chop onion
    • *designated boyfriend task #2!
  • place prepped potatoes, carrots and onion in small amount of water while waiting for the meat to start to brown (so potatoes don’t turn brown)
  • place water in pot on low heat, prep for noodles later on
  • put some flour in a Ziplock sandwich bag

Instructions:

  • heat large cast iron pot on stove, high heat, with some oil on bottom of pot
  • place about 1/3 of the meat cubes in bag of flour and shake to coat the meat, then place meat into pot
    • do this until all meat has been coated in flour and placed in the pot
  • let meat start to brown/cook and flip occasionally
  • pour 2 cups of water, onion soup mix, and tomato sauce into the pot and stir
  • pull apart onion layers and place in the pot as well
  • bring to a boil and then place carrots and potatoes into the pot to cook
  • turn heat to medium and let cook for ~30 minutes (stew should be at a “soft bubble” as opposed to a “hard bubble”)
    • *if you haven’t noticed by now, I should formally point out that I have no idea about proper chef vocabularies or actual terms or names for cooking situations lol so please pardon my “butchering” (pun intended :)) of kitchen terms!*
  • after 30 minutes or so, maybe longer, carrots and potatoes should be feeling soft when you test them with a fork, and this is the time to start boiling water and cooking noodles
  • this is also the time to put the peas into the stew so they can finish cooking with everything else
  • also, prepare salad/bread/any side dishes while everything else is finishing up on the stove
  • when everything is ready to be served, make the “DINNERRR” call and ENJOY!

As with last week’s dish, I (along with my parents I’m sure) were pleasantly surprised with how GOOD it turned out!  Like I’ve been cooking stew my whole life instead of just eating it. So it is safe to say that I am batting 2 for 2 so far, and while the training wheels are still on, I’m totally okay with that and will start mentally preparing for week 3 next!

XOXO

Cooking Carli

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