Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Predictions and beef stew - or according to my husband, THE beef stew

Beef stew / Picadinho de carne

Years ago I read an article on how the 2012 Oscars would be about the battle between Glenn Close and Meryl Streep, for Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady respectively. Months went by, not everyone was that thrilled with Glenn’s performance (I adore her, think she should have two Oscars already but haven’t seen the movie yet), Viola Davis rose up to the occasion, becoming Meryl’s main opponent, and the latter took home the statue even though it should have gone to Rooney Mara’s hands.

Months ago I read another article about Oscar predictions, on how the 2014 Award would hold the duel between Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman. Well, that never happened: Diana tanked big time and apparently Grace of Monaco is taking the same route.

The moment I saw the first released photo of Daniel Day Lewis in character as Lincoln I knew for sure he would sweep each and every award out there, and I have the feeling Steve Carell will do the same with Foxcatcher – you can come back here months from now and either congratulate me or make fun of me. :D

Predicting Oscar winners can be a tricky thing, but predicting if a dish will turn out good is a lot easier: as I cooked this beef stew, crisping the bacon first, then browning the beef, then sweating the vegetables –
building layers of flavor, as Jamie Oliver would say – I knew it would taste amazing, and it did. What I couldn’t have imagined, however, was that my husband would call this the best beef stew he’d ever had – that was a surprise, and a very nice one. <3 Beef stew, or according to my husband, THE beef stew
slightly adapted from Do-Ahead Dinners: How to Feed Friends and Family Without the Frenzy

½ large onion
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 small stick of celery
2 garlic cloves, peeled
olive oil
70g bacon in small cubes
500g round steak in bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons crushed canned tomatoes
2/3 cup (160ml) red wine – not your cheapest, not your best
2 tablespoons water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano, + a few leaves extra for serving

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F. Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Put the beef and flour in a freezer bag along with a good pinch of salt and pepper and give the bag a vigorous shake to coat the meat. In batches, brown the beef all over on a high heat and remove to a bowl (place it in the same bowl of the bacon and avoid excess washing up). :)
Reduce the heat and add the butter, followed shortly by the vegetables and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 10 minutes. Return the meat to the pan along with the bacon, tomato purée, wine, water and herbs. Bring to a boil, cover and pop in the oven for 2 hours (check after 1 hour and add water if necessary). Taste the sauce for seasoning and serve – if not serving at once, cool completely and refrigerate.

I refrigerated it overnight and it tasted even more delicious; just let the saucepan come to room temperature, add a splash of water and reheat it over low heat.

Serves 2 (with some leftovers)


Display name said...

I should make me some. You just gave me the appetite! THE stew looks fantastic!
:) ela@GrayApron

gramps said...

Finally saw PHILOMINA

WOW---marvelous all around

Mehriban said...

где вы купили кастрюлю ? она мне очень нравится ! ))

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gramps, I'm so glad you liked the movie! Thank you for dropping me a line!

Mehriban, it's a Le Creuset saucepan.

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