Baby, thought I’d died and gone to heaven
Yes, I’m a tad sheepish that I know that song and that I am even quoting it publicly. However, it seems to fit my mood after having downed a bowl of this stuff for supper. (Though I have a feeling that Mr. Adams might have been referring to Something Else.)
I bought a chunk of beef stewing meat this morning on a whim at Rema 1000. My whims are often guided by what’s on sale. This wasn’t, but it was reasonable enough in price to warrant buying it, with some loose plans to make something in the slow cooker on this frosty day.
The first thing I did after getting settled back at home was to do research. Being a person who is overeducated, I have decent research skills, especially when I have the ‘net at my fingertips. I looked at several recipes, saw that the best ones required you to brown the meat first, and then…I came across this little beauty: Slow Cooker Beef and Beer Stew.
I recalled that a friend of ours had left a beer in our fridge (from over a year ago–can you tell and SB and I aren’t big on beer?), so I decided to be Ms. Use-Up-What-You-Have and make this recipe. First, I cut the meat into chunks, tossed it with some almond flour, salt and pepper, then browned it. I chopped up some onions, mushrooms, and carrots, too. I was out of celery, so I used some of my newly-acquired celery seed. I left out the potatoes, because we don’t let spuds of the non-sweet variety into this house. After the meat was done getting seared, I took it out of the pan and sauteed the onions for a bit, then added in the mushrooms. Then I threw everything into the slow cooker, deglazed the frying pan with the beer and dumped that in, too. Then I cheated and used a beef Fond du Chef cup, scooping that into the mix along with some water, about a cup. I set the slow cooker on low and enjoyed the smells emanating from the kitchen for the rest of the day.
Now, don’t do what I did: I checked it after 4 hours and was horribly disappointed. The meat was SO tough and chewy. But I didn’t give up, and neither should you. I splashed a little apple cider vinegar (about a tablespoon) into the pot, let it cook for another 3 hours, and was rewarded with a delicious stew with tender morsels of meat. (Gah, why did I use the word “morsel”? It always makes me think of cat food commercials. Now YOU’RE thinking of cat food commercials! Don’t go there!)
Read it. Make it. Enjoy it!