I absolutely LOVE to cook for my family. Or just for anyone really. Cooking is a stress reliever, an expression of love, and a fun activity all in one. Today I decided due to the super chill weather to make beef stew and cornbread for my family.
The stew is really easy to make. Get your fave meat. I used beef because it’s what I had on hand.
About a pound of meat, cut up into no more than 1 inch chunks. I like doing smaller pieces to spread the meat around for everyone to have a taste. I cook the meat with some onion slices, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of fajita seasoning. Once the meat is cooked, I add 2 cups of water and my vegetables. The basic veg you’d need is potatoes, carrots, and celery. Celery is sliced thinly so that it practically melts into the gravy/broth. Potatoes and carrots are peeled and given a rough kitchen chop (approx 1/2 inch to 1 inch sized pieces). Add more water. You want your pot to be about half full, if using a basic 10″-12″ diameter pot approximately 6″-7″ deep. (If using a smaller pot, you’ll want it approximately 1″-1 1/2″ from the top.) Tonight I’ve added yellow squash to mine.
Now then, set the pot on high and bring to a boil. While waiting for it to come to a boil, you want to get a bowl and put about 2-3 tbsp water in it. Add 2-3tbsp flour (all purpose, self rising, even rice flour is fine). Whisk this together. BEFORE your stew pot comes to a boil, add this in slowly, using the whisk to spread it around. This is very important and takes out the tempering step. If your pot has come to a boil, you’ll want to take some of the broth from it and use it instead of water to make the flour mixture. This is to keep the temperature even so that the flour does not clump up.
You add the flour to act as a thickener. Your broth will still be thin, and that’s fine. Perfect in fact. Next add a packet or two of beef stew seasoning. Whisk or stir the crap out of this. At this point your pot should have come to a boil. Once the seasoning is mixed in well, cut the heat down to a simmer covered (be sure your lid has a vent! if it doesn’t, then leave it kinda sorta to the side to prevent boiling over.) Come back in 5-10 minutes.
At the 5-10 minute check, take a large spoon and scrape the bottom of your pot. If when removed, the spoon has a bit of a build up, then your job now is to scrape all over the bottom. This means the flour settled before it had a chance to properly mix in (it happens sometimes) and you need to scrape it up and mix it back in. This is pretty quick. Once you stop feeling resistance on the bottom of the pot, give it a good stir and cover. Periodically check on your stew every 20 minutes or so. It’ll be done when the potatoes and carrots are nice and tender. If stew broth is too thick and has become a gravy, add a bit of water to thin it out to your preference.