Sunday, 4 March 2007

Another One-Pot Sunday

Now that I look back, I've realized that I've been doing a lot of one-pot or single-dish meals. Perhaps it's because I only have to cook for myself at home... or perhaps it's because usually the single-dish meals I make have a good share of veggies, meat and carbs. Or perhaps, and this is more true during weeknights, I often just don't have that much time to spend to make more than one dish. So, often you'll find me making either a pasta/noodle dish, or I'd be making a hearty one-pot meal, or I'd serve myself a good stir-fry with some freshly steamed rice on the side. Yeah, it might be on the simplistic side, but one person can only eat so much each day.

Tonight's feature is under the one-pot meal column: beef stew. Again, I didn't rely on a recipe, but after a few more "attempts" I found myself comfortable with my own concoction now. For beef, I had rib steak in my freezer for use. Though I tried pinot noir tonight, I've used merlot before and it has blended with the stew very well. For mushrooms, I used a mix of regular white mushrooms and, to add more flavour, cepes (AKA porcini). As for the ancho chillies, they're just a personal preference and they were in my pantry tonight. These dried forms of the poblano chillies are on the mild side and have their own unique sweetness.

Andrew's Beef Stew
(Makes ~4 servings)
  • ~8 oz. beef, cut into cubes
  • 2 medium onions, cut into sections
  • 1 shallot, halved and sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4-5 stalks celery, cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • 1/2 cabbage, sliced
  • ~400g mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Ancho chillies (optional)
  • 1 starchy potato, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup pot barley
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine
  • ~1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ~1 tbsp. sage
  • ~1 tsp. paprika
  • pepper to taste
* If there are celery leaves, chop some and set aside
  1. After preparing the ingredients, pour the olive oil into a heated large pot over medium heat.
  2. Toss the onions, shallot, garlic and celery leaves into the pot, add a small splash of water, cover pot and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the red wine, cover pot again and turn up heat to full. Once the wine begins to boil remove lid to allow the alcohol fumes to disperse. (It is advised that you turn on your kitchen exhaust fan.)
  4. Once the alcohol has been burned off, maintain high heat, add the stock, beef, barley, potato and ancho chillies, and cover pot again.
  5. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to medium-high and add remaining ingredients. Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to between medium and medium-low and stir ingredients evenly and, if ancho chillies are in the mix, gently to keep them whole. Cover pot again and let simmer for ~30 minutes, stirring again after 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the ancho chillies from the stew, remove pot from heat, stir and serve.

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