Beef stew with what I have

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by alexb, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. alexb

    alexb

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    I have some cubed, top round Beef 1 1/2 Pounds ,some  carrots a small turnip , garlic, onion, green pepper, red wine .

    I know to flower and brown the beef S&P, it also. but should I caramelize the onions? Make a mirepoix  with the veg but I like a provincial affect with sliced carrots. do I need something, like celery? Or maybe just onions carrots & a little green pepper a little turnip , the wine , and nothing else .   ( ??? )

    Small potatoes ?(Added late )

    Marinade ?

    Thanks

    Alex .       p.s a dear friend of my who is something of a cook, Lawrence Rolen, made a beef stew . I only remember carrots being in it . Obviously onions were a part of it and wine. It was about perfect !
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  2. grande

    grande

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    If it was me, I'd cook the turnip seperately, or at least put it in towards the end. Also for me, all wine for the liquid turns out too acidic. If you want the carrots to "present", why not do a fine mirepoix, sweat it out, caramelize it if you want, sear the beef, deglaze, etc., the cook the carrots and turnips seperatly & serve them at the end?
     
  3. luc_h

    luc_h

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    For a real provincial (corrected from provencial-the typo) effect, use some beer instead of wine.

    my suggestions:

    Dust meat cubes with flour + S&P, sear, deglaze then sweat onions and/or mirepoix.  (maybe render a couple of slices of bacon). Sauté some celery.

    add to beer/water mixture (I go all blond beer). Bring to simmer. (herbs and spices of choice).  Before meat becomes too tender add cooked veggies.

    I agree with Grande, you should cook potatoes (red are better), carrots, rutabaga (turnip) all dente then add to stew for last 30 - 45 min.

    (often I add caramelized peppercorn or butternut squash).  I dislike bell peppers in stews. they become too mushy.

    adjust flavouring before serving (little soya sauce, balsamic vinegar are possibilities)

    Good cooking!

    Luc H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif  If you meant "Provençal" then we don't cook with beer in Provence, only with wine. Various wines are being produced in Provence, but no beer is being produced. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  5. luc_h

    luc_h

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    Actually I made a typo... I meant provincial as in country cooking.

    Luc H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  6. ordo

    ordo

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  7. alexb

    alexb

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    I'd like to  use  r /wine should I   Deglaze with water or wine ?please . Also  50/50 wine & water  ? for the liquid. So it's not too acidic?  
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  8. mike9

    mike9

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    A cup of red wine is fine for deglazing the pot, but make sure you cook the alcohol off then add some water, or stock for cooking liquid.  50/50 water/stock can work well as the sodium content in stock can be a bit much if you are seasoning along the way. 
     
  9. alexb

    alexb

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    Now I've got my answer (or answer's). I have been looking over " The Lobel Brothers " Meat "  Cook Book . Found an old copy 1971 in a theft shop . 

    Thanks all 

    AB
     
  10. alexb

    alexb

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    I want to reopen this discussion because I'm in the process of doing it .  I floured and salt-and-peppered the beef ,but had to sear it in several batches deglazing each batch separately with wine . Cleaning the pot each time and starting a new. Then I caramelize the onions no oil or butter. Then I sweated the mirepoix carrots ,garlic, turnip , celery, shallots added a little flower in tiny bit of butter. I combined the beef and the caramelized onions and poured mixture of water beef stock  a little chicken stock and tomato paste. .A bayleaf some ground Thyme   salt-and-pepper and a splash of wine.

    Does anyone like my technique I have absolutely no training in cooking. So I like to hear any comments?

    How long should I cook it, three hours?

    Thank you . 
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    Deglazing in between batches is overkill IMO. I would just watch to avoid burning the fond and sear everything, then deglaze with the onions & shallots (no liquid), which I would personally not caramelize, just sweat a bit - they'll become brown from the deglazed fond, not from their own caramelization. Then the mirepoix (IMO turnip is not part of the mirepoix but whatever works for you). Then the tomato paste and cook it a bit, to get the raw taste out. Then the wine, cook a bit to get the alcohol evaporated, then the other liquid and bouquet garni. 

    You cook it until it's cooked - could be 2 hours, could be 4 hours, depends on the cut & quality of beef and the size of the pieces. Just try to break apart a piece with a fork to check for tenderness. 

    And whatever you do just make sure you don't boil it. Just a bubble here and there, so it cooks long and slow. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  12. alexb

    alexb

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    Deglazing  in between batches, I felt I had to, because otherwise it would have cooked a little too much ( to a burn ). To sear you need enough heat . sustained heat can begine to burn  the flour on the bottom of the pan . don't you need to sear with just a few pieces of meat in the pot (for the meat not to touch each other) ?I do not understand "then ''deglaze''(isn't it  liquid ) with the onions & shallots and not caramelize" . do you have to separate   the tomato past from the rest of the liquid ? O' raw taste yes I ca see that . Just a bubble here in there thanks .

    The last 45 minutes I will add mushrooms sauté and little potatoes steamed  . 

    Smells awfully good so far.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    I believe you may be either using too much heat for searing, or leaving too much flour on the meat when searing? I sear in batches often, and don't have to deglaze in between batches. You shouldn't have flour at the bottom of your pan, but just enough flour to stick to the pieces of meat. Just make sure you get rid of all excess flour before the meat goes in the pot by shaking the pieces of meat until all excess flour falls down on a plate. In fact flour isn't even a necessity, and to be honest I rarely use it. If you dry the pieces of meat thoroughly then you can sear them without any flour and build your stew with a purer taste that way. 

    Then remove all the meat and add your onions and shallots over low-medium heat. The onions and shallots will produce enough of their own water to deglaze the pan. If they don't you can always add a bit of salt, which will help them sweat out their water. That means all the flavor from the fond goes onto the onions and the onions are sweated - here again without having to wash the pan again. 

    I don't add more flour to the mirepoix. More flour gives you a thicker sauce, which is nice, but it also dilutes the meat taste in the braising liquid. Instead, reduce the braising liquid at the end to the desired consistency. 

    I don't caramelize the onions, I suppose that's a matter of taste, but while I love caramelized onions in other preparations, in a stew I find that it distracts from the taste of the seared meat. 

    As for the tomato paste, yes, I add it to the mirepoix or onions before the liquid so it can cook a bit before adding the liquid. 

    Mushrooms and potatoes sound great too. I would personally sautee the mushrooms before adding them in at the end. I would also cook the potatoes separately and add them at the end so they don't give out their starch which would cloud the wonderful stew liquor (the braising liquid). 

    Hey! I can smell it from here. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  14. grande

    grande

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    I don't personally flour the meat, i do a little flour in the mirepoix to thicken it up. Maybe it's all those PFO's I used to cook, but I hate flouring things if I don't need to.
     
  15. mike9

    mike9

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    I flour and season it as well.  That way the roux is seasoned as the stew thickens.  If you don't flour you'll need a roux or other thickening agent at some point - at least where I come from.
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    You don't need  flour or a roux. Modern cooking is generally getting away from flour and roux (which dilutes flavors) and most other thickeners, and uses reduction instead to thicken and intensify flavors. Just... give it a try next time, I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised by your results. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  17. grande

    grande

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    Ehhhh.... I like em thick
     
  18. genemachine

    genemachine

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    I'm rather partial to thickening with a bit of pure starch - arrowroot or corn, depending. Roux leaves too much of a trace, can't remember the last time I used some, apart from trying to do some more or less authentic gumbos.
     
  19. french fries

    french fries

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    I use roux all the time for Béchamel - obviously. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  20. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Don't quit your day job, you career as comedian is in the balance there ;)