Friday, 17 August 2012

Alberta Beef Stew

This is a hearty stew that is wonderful served with big chunks of fresh bread on a cool night. 
After the initial prep work the most important ingredient in this kind of a soup is time. It is amazing how good a few simple ingredients can be made with the addition of time. The cowboys in my house ate the whole pot but, it tastes awesome the next day if you have any leftovers. Big Pete and The Dad ate this like a pack of hungry wolves under a full moon. It's man food for sure!

I was surprised the other day when my new neighbour Shandy's Mother brought over 3 big bags of wonderful vegetables from her garden to share. I am thankful and warmed by the kindness of people who you have just met that share the fruits of their hard work so willingly. I thought with such a wonderful bounty I would make a nice stew with beautiful Alberta beef.
 This is beef country after all!

You will need:
  • 2 lbs of beef (stewing beef or a tougher cut)
  • a couple of small onions or 1 large- chopped fine
  • 5-6 cloves garlic- chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • fresh rosemary-chopped fine
  • fresh thyme-chopped fine
  • fresh basil-chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (regular kind not the good stuff)
  • 3-4 carrots sliced
  • 5-10 little new potatoes 
  • 1 pkg mushrooms- sliced any variety
  • 1-2 parsnips- sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine or 1 can of beer or beef broth
*add the vegetables you like to make the perfect blend for your family.

Step 1: I like to partially freeze my meat to chop easily or thaw out some that you might have in your freezer.

Step 2: slice and chop all your vegetables.

Step 3: fry the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until they start to get browned.

Step 4: add your meat and cook until all the moisture is cooked out and they oil begins to fry and brown the meat. You can also fry the meat in small batches without crowding the pot (like I have done because I was lazy and rushing) The browned meat add more flavour to the end product but, either way it's still pretty darn tasty.

Step 5: once your meat is partially cooked add the rest of your vegetables and half of your fresh herbs. (save the rest to serve at the minute before serving for a fresh flavour) Add all your seasonings and liquid. Bring to a boil then turn down to low and simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until the meat is fall apart tender and tasty. Taste it and adjust the seasonings. Add the remaining fresh herbs.

Step 6: serve with crusty bread and butter and a glass of red wine and you have an awesome bowl of yummy stew.

Thank you Shandy's Mom!

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