Comfort in a Bowl | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:15

012413fNothing warms the body on these cold, wintry nights like a steaming bowl of stew — a combination of vegetables and usually some meat — simmered gently in natural juices.

Stews are nutritious one-dish meals that are easy on the cook and sure to be welcomed at the dinner table.

CLASSIC BEEF STEW

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds beef chuck, cubed

12 small boiling onions

6 large potatoes, peeled and diced

6 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

2 (10-1/2 ounce) cans beef broth

1/2 cup red wine or beer

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cold water

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. In a paper bag, mix together the 1/2 cup of flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add a small handful of meat cubes at a time and shake until well-coated. Brown the meat in the hot oil about 1 minute on each side. Remove the browned meat and continue until all the meat is browned.

Lower heat to medium and add onions. Brown onions on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, then remove from pot and set aside. Drain excess fat from pot.

Add to the pot the potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, browned meat, broth, wine and bay leaf. Stir all together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thirty minutes before stew is done, combine the 3 tablespoons of flour and water in a cup and mix well, then slowly stir mixture into stew and complete the cooking. Makes 6 servings.

WHITEFISH STEW

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup chopped green pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 (10-3/4 oz) can condensed cream of tomato soup

1 (14-1/2) can chicken broth

1 soup can of water

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 pound white fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces

Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan. Cook green pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and oregano leaves until tender. Add wine and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in soup, broth, water, parsley and fish.

Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fish is done. Stir occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Makes 6 servings.

VEGETABLE RAGOUT

1/4 cup olive oil

4 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes

2 medium red onions, cut into thin strips

2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (optional)

2 medium turnips, coarsely chopped

Salt and black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 plum tomatoes, cut into cubes

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or rubbed sage

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the carrots, butternut squash, red onions, cabbage and turnips with the olive oil, and arrange the vegetables in a large roasting pan. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste and then roast them in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Stir the vegetable stock, white wine, tomatoes, and thyme or sage into the vegetables and continue roasting them for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened considerably and the vegetables have started to caramelize. Serves 6.

NEW ORLEANS SEAFOOD GUMBO

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 green pepper, seeds removed and diced

8ounces okra, sliced

1 (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes, chopped

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound large peeled prawns

Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the peppers and okra, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, allspice and cayenne pepper, and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the gumbo is thickened. Add the prawns — heat through and serve with boiled rice. Serves 4.

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 onions, sliced

2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika

2 teaspoons salt

3 pounds stew meat in cubes

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1-1/2 cups water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions in oil until soft, stirring frequently. Remove onions, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Coat beef cubes in spice mixture, and cook in onion pot until brown on all sides. Return the onions to the pot, and pour in tomato paste, water, garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Serves 8.

OXTAIL STEW

2 pounds oxtail

Flour

2 tablespoons butter or oil

2 onions, sliced

2 cups beef stock

2 cups water

2 cups canned tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic

4 carrots, cubed

1 small turnip, cubed

Wash and drain oxtail, cut in 2-inch pieces and roll in flour.

In heavy skillet, heat butter or oil, add oxtail and sliced onions. Cook until well-browned. Add stock, water, tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaf and clove of garlic. Cover and cook over very low heat (or bake in a casserole in a 300°F oven) until the meat is fork-tender (about 3 hours). Remove bay leaf and garlic. Add carrots and turnip and cook until the vegetables are tender. Season to taste. Serves 6.

 

 


 

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