When you make this savory beef stew make sure you have lots of crusty oven broiled bread for soaking up the juices. You won't want to miss a drop!
What sets this recipe apart from others is the flavor-enhancing step of seasoning the beef before cooking. It builds a flavor base that continues to enhance the cooking of the vegetables in a way that just tossing spices into a soup can't touch. As a matter of fact, adding the broth will be one of the final steps in the cooking process.
Spices you'll need:
1 teaspoon of each:
Kosher salt or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried crushed rosemary
2 bay leaves
Knorr beef stock
You will also need:
2 small onions
3 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves (not pictured- oops!)
Small yukon gold potatoess
2-3 pounds of stew meat
This is one of the major flavor steps. First add your seasonings to your stew meat and let this sit while you chop and prepare your veggies.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add one teaspoon of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and paprika.
Meanwhile, prepare your veggies. I just scrub the carrots and potatoes and leave the peel on them. Use 1-2 potatoes per person. I like using the whole potatoes in case I need to freeze leftovers. ( Potatoes don't freeze well, so if I need to freeze any stew all I have to do is remove them and voila!)
I like to have all of the ingredients prepared ahead of time because once you start cooking the process goes pretty fast.
You will also want to prepare your stock. I had 6-7 cups of hot water and 2 packets of the Knorr beef stock. Taste your stock- if you like you can add another packet.
Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to your stock pot and heat over medium heat. You will want to brown your meat in small batches to ensure even browning.
I had 3 small batches and once the meat was browned I just set it aside in a bowl off to the side. If you dump all of the meat in at once you will over crowd the little pieces of meat and it will become juicy rather than brown properly.
Once your stew meat is browned add all of the veggies. The herbs from the bottom of the pot in the olive oil will help season these and give them an amazing flavor. You'll want to stir these the whole time to keep the onions and garlic from browning. You just want to blend the flavors and soften them up a little bit. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the stew meat back into the pot and stir to mix. Add 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste and toss to coat. Then add one tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.
At this point you can go ahead and pour your stock into the pot and stir to blend.
Add 2 bay leaves and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
This recipe can be served immediately after your vegetables are tender. I made mine stew early in the day so I let it cool and refrigerated until it was dinner time. I just reheated on the stove while I prepare some oven broiled ciabatta bread to go along with the soup.
This recipe was inspired by the broccoli slaw that I mentioned in my last post. We are obsessed with this stuff right now. I don't know if it's because we have salad burn out or because we love the crunch of this salad, but we've literally had this every night since my truck taco recipe blog.
This recipe is SO SPICY! So if you're into hot this is right up your alley. If you can't handle the heat then you can tone it down.
Here's what we had on hand
Thin sliced chicken breasts
sliced pepperjack cheese
crispy jalapeno strips (found near salad toppings)
Dressing of choice: We had jalapeno ranch or chipotle
All purpose seasoning for chicken. We used Slap Ya Momma!
Toast ciabatta bread and add cheese, jalapeno strips, grilled chicken, and then slaw mixed with dressing.
Don't tell Lori, but I ended up having to pick off some of the jalapeno strips. It was setting me on fire. I know she would be disappointed. shhhh!!!!!!
What else do you think I can come up with to incorporate this broccoli slaw? Believe me, I'm thinking about it!
Hey! Trucks got nothin' on me baby!!! These turned out amazing. I actually got my inspiration from a Taco Bueno commercial of all things. They have new tacos and for the first time ever I seriously wanted Taco Bueno. Fast forward to yesterday... I had a doctor's appointment out of town. I decided to grab some groceries while I was in "the city".
I am like a kid in a candy shop when I go into grocery stores in other big towns. All the things we can't buy here impress me so much. When I pulled into the grocery store parking lot I noticed a Bueno right next door but it wasn't quite time for lunch. So my intention was to grab lunch on my way home after I left the store.
Now, don't laugh if this is a product that's been around forever and I'm just discovering it. Remember,I live in the sticks.
It reminded me of the Bueno commercial. Their tacos had a similar looking "slaw" type ingredient. And that's when it hit me... I can do this! So I did a quick mental inventory of the meats I had a home. I know I have cod in the freezer but my husband is allergic and I really don't want to off him. I knew I also had some other meat in the freezer I could use.
Today when we were trying to decide what to use for the tacos we came across a chunk of pork tenderloin that was leftover that I'd vacuum sealed and put in the freezer. And my husband said he really wanted to use that.
I just happened to have corn tortillas, some red onion, and cheddar cheese.
So we used a basting brush to put a little olive oil on the corn tortillas and heated them in a skillet to soften them. Washed and mixed the salad ingredients and heated and sliced our leftover pork tenderloin. The one ingredient that would have sent this over the edge is fresh cilantro. But I didn't have any and neither of us cared enough to drive to town to buy some. But really.. it's got to be on there next time we make this.
As it turns out my bag of salad isn't really made of lettuce or even cabbage. It's broccoli! But it worked! I ended up adding some hot sauce to mine.
There are so many different ways you can make this "truck" tacos. If you are a fish taco person use tilapia or cod. If you prefer beef you can purchase fajita meat or pre-cooked angus, and if you are a chicken person you can choose any kind of chicken you like. I think Rotisserie, fajita chicken, grilled, etc.. would be good.
I don't know how many of you remember my quesadillas but I think the roast beef that I use in those would make AMAZING truck tacos. That would be my first choice if I hadn't found this pork in the freezer.
So... this was my good idea. Sometimes they turn out alright. Sometimes they don't. This was pretty authentic for semi-homemade. For the sticks.. ;)
This isn't so much of a recipe as it is a concept.
This was our first Valentines Day alone in.... 23 years. I wanted it to be different and unique. Since it fell on a Tuesday and I knew my husband would be tired coming home from work I wanted to do something relaxing and laid back. Plus, with 2 kids in college we're "trying" to be less frivolous. We still go out to eat but we're just trying to stay in a little more often.
I know that many of my friends worried about me this year. I'd been dreading the kids leaving for years. My husband and I both just really like being around our kids. My friends knew this void would be a major change for us. But really, it's not been nearly as hard as I expected. The silver lining in my little cloud is my husband. The fun thing about being alone this much for the first time in 23 years is how you reconnect. It's sort of like remembering how you felt when you first fell in love. It's rather nice! We've always been in love but somehow it just gets sweeter. (ok, enough of the gushy stuff!)
In the last few days I was thinking about what to make for a special meal. It's hard because we cook all the time and we like to cook together. We've had some pretty amazing meals lately. So I really liked the idea of a non-meal.
Tapas, or "little bites", is really Spanish. I'm not sure if you can call this Tapas. My version wasn't really Spanish. Joe and I both loved our little meal that we've agreed we need to do this more often. And definitely this is a must-do with friends.
We had little serving dishes with:
Garlic olive oil, aged balsamic, and fresh cracked pepper and Italian herbs
hummus with roasted pine nuts
cut fresh pineapple
sliced bosc pears
baked brie in pastry with cranberry chutney
fresh toasted herb bread
And of course a romantic drink was in order!
The nice thing about this tapas concept is you can make it as gourmet as you like and put a lot of effort into your romantic meal or you can keep it simple and still keep it very elegant. Everything we had was store bought. The most effort I put into this was plopping the brie into the oven and slicing the pears. :)
Ain't love grand?
Try this next time you want to set the mood and make someone feel special!
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!
All Appetizer Bar-T-Rito Beef Breakfast Brunch Carne Guisada Casserole Chicken Chili Dessert Drinks Gluten-free Main Course Pasta Pork Salad Sandwich Sauce Savory Beef Stew Side Dish Snack Soup Tapas Tex Mex Tex-Mex Theta Burger Truck Tacos Why Didn't I Think Of That?