Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beef Stew

One of the most economical ways to cook is to use bones to make homemade stock. You can get beef soup bones from the butcher very cheaply, plus they add texture and flavor that you can't get from canned beef broth.

  • 1-2 lbs beef bones
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus extra for the bones
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsely
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Turn on the broiler. Lightly oil the bones and brown on a sheet pan under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally to evenly brown all sides. Remove from the oven and set the oven for 250 degrees.

Toss the stew meat in 2 tablespoons of the oil and half the salt. Heat a large dutch oven over high heat. Quickly brown the meat, working in batches so as to not crowd the pan. Put the meat on a clean plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Brown the onions, carrots, and celery with the remaining salt. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and evenly sift on the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the flour is just started to brown. Slowly stir in the water and bring to a full simmer. Add the potatoes, pepper, and bay leaves. Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove the bones. If there is any meat or marrow on them, cut/scrape it off and stir back into the stew. Stir in the parsley, thyme, and lemon juice. Serve over rice or pasta.

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