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Friday. 09. 5. 2008.

I picked up a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle at the airport on our way back to Sweden. It’s a really inspiring and educating book. I’m not finished it but it does confirm a few ideas I’ve been having about choosing local.

Anyways. Reading it made me want to make beef stew. So that’s what we had for dinner tonight.

beef stew

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart as reference but kind of winged it as I went.

Here are the recipes I referred to if you’re interested:

We bought a piece of nötbog. It took us a while to figure out which cut of meat was best for stewing. The names of the cuts of meat is not as obvious as the names we have back in Canada.

The piece we got was almost 900g, so I cut it up into approximately 1 inch cubes and put half of it in the freezer.

I used about 3 carrots, 6 small fresh potatoes, approximately 3 large cloves of garlic (smashed and peeled), 1 small-ish leek, 1 large onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 handfuls of frozen peas.

I marinated the meat with a bit of soy, sugar, black pepper and white pepper. We weren’t in a hurry to eat so I set that aside while I prepared the other veggies and finished laundry.

I used the big cast aluminum pot that my mom gave me. I coated the meat with flour and browned it in a single layer at the bottom of the pot. Took it out and set it aside while I deglazed the pot with a ½ cup of port. Which I poured into the bowl that the browned meat was in.

Cook the onions and garlic until they’re soft and fragrant, then pour in a ⅓ cup of port to deglaze. Pour in approximately 750ml of water. It would be best to use beef stock but I only have bouillon cubes. I used 1½ cubes. I started with 1 and tasted it before I added the half.

Put the meat back into the pot along with the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, all spice, 3 bay leaves, a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Bring it up to a boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour.

Add carrots and leek. Cook for another 20-30 minutes. Approximately 30-40 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the potato.

The sauce was a bit thin so I added about a tablespoon of corn starch. Remember that you have to dissolve the corn starch in some cold water first before adding to the stew or it’ll clump. Simmer over low for a few minutes. Add the peas a couple minutes before serving.

Serve with bread.

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