Challenge: Cold Weather.
Response: Beef Stew.
Flour and sear the beef cubes.
Brown the mushrooms.
Braise the vegetables that you love: leeks, carrots, celery,
Return the mushrooms and beef.
Cover with liquids.
And simmer for 2 hours.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Thursday, November 15, 2018
My 219th consecutive posting.
Time is 12.20am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 37* under mostly cloudy skies.
Dinner is Beef Stew. Again.
Question of the Day:
What is stew?
Derek Woodward - Self-photographed
Second from left:
Josef Türk Jun. from Reit im Winkl, Deutschland - Pichelsteiner Eintopf Uploaded by Diádoco
Second from right:
A traditional bouillabaisse from Marseille, with the fish served separately from the soup
Slastic - Own work
Cocido montañés or Highlander stew, a common Cantabrian dish
Uhanu - Trebaju sellencu (own work)
Love your notes.
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Sally Chetwynd did, to talk about Winnie the Pooh, a death in her family, and the loss-ripples that go on and on into eternity. The Web Meister.
Winnie-ther (“Don’t you know what ‘ther’ means?”)-Pooh has always been and always will be a mainstay in our family. My mother acquired patterns and made Pooh characters for us children, and then again for grandchildren, and those that are still intact continue to find themselves clutched in the eager arms of great-grandchildren. One time, our dog became jealous of the Pooh attention to the very first grandchild (now 48 years old) and garroted Tigger’s throat. Tigger managed to outlive the dog and carries his noble stitches still.
Thank you for your note on the passing of Bill Chetwynd. At Friday’s wake, Bill’s brother and my husband Phillip (in the family reception line) lost a chunk of flesh from a finger because of a ring he wears on his right ring finger cut into its neighboring middle finger from the hundreds of hands squeezing his in endless shaking. Over 600 people attended the wake, and sometimes the line was an hour and a half long. It made me think of the words of the Wizard of Oz to the Tin Man when he gave the Tin Man a heart: “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” As a child, I never understood this statement, but its meaning over time has become quite clear, and quite crystalized at Bill’s wake. His life touched thousands through his devotion to civic causes in his home town of Wakefield. (Bill WAS “Mr. Wakefield.”) One of his nephews posted this perfect description of Bill in a Facebook post: “a beacon of humanity.”
Yesterday’s funeral service was beautiful, “sandwiched” between a Masonic ritual to honor the passing of a brother Mason (Bill was a past master at the local lodge) and a military salute by the US Army (he was a Viet Nam war veteran). Only one member of the family spoke, one of his granddaughters, whose short tribute was so apt (including words from Bill himself, from a FB post he sent to her a few hours before he died) that no one else had anything to add. It was only in contrast to Bill’s propensity to converse for hours at a time, to say nothing of so many of the rest of the Chetwynds equally capable of extended talk. I was grateful that one evening three weeks earlier, I had stopped by the house to deliver a copy of my book to Bill and his wife Joan, and chatted with them for two hours.
I believe the overall message from Bill’s life of spreading love and compassion wherever he went, especially in light of his sudden departure, is this: Make sure that those you love know it.
By the way, I have spoken with Joan and Bill’s daughter Lauralyn about acquiring a copy of Bill’s book, “Tower of Wisdom,” once the dust settles and they get around to sorting through the stuff on his computer. He and I had plans to work together this winter on his book – his intent was to polish it for publication, but I knew it was far from ready – it needs more development. But the story arc is complete, and the concepts he poses are astonishing, and it doesn’t deserve to get lost in the digital dust. I’d like to work on it to bring it to fruition, to meet Bill’s vision for it, as a measure of honor and respect. I’m thinking I’ll bring it up at our writers’ group meeting this week, to see if the group would like to work collaboratively on it. I haven’t cornered the market on how this book should be finished – thoughts, opinions, and wisdom from our writing colleagues could go far to build Bill’s story to his satisfaction.
Hope to see you on Thursday. In the meantime, go well, my friend.
Answer to Question of Day:
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.
Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, onions, beans, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes) and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef.
Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used.
While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also common.
Seasoning and flavorings may also be added.
Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavors to mingle.
Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method.
This makes it popular in low-cost cooking.
Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.
Stews may be thickened by reduction or with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of fat and flour.
Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.
Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients.
Beef bourguignon is a beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef broth, generally flavored with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream). From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe.
Carbonade flamande, alternatively spelt carbonnade or à la flamande is a traditional Belgian Flemish sweet-sour beef (or pork) and onion stew made with beer, and seasoned with thyme, bay leaves and mustard.
Mushrooms or spiced bread can also be added.
The type of beer used is important, and traditionally an Oud bruin (Old Brown Beer), Brune Abbey beer or Flanders red is the beer of choice with a somewhat bitter-sour flavor.
In addition to this and to enhance the sweet-sour flavor, just before serving, it has a small amount of cider or wine vinegar and either brown sugar or red currant jelly stirred in.
It is often accompanied by french fries, boiled potatoes or stoemp.
It is widely available in restaurants and friteries in Belgium.
So many good beef stew recipes.
Let’s go with mine, a recipe for the American Version, called simply Beef Stew.
2 pounds boneless short rib or chuck roast cut into 2” chunks
Large Dutch Oven
Season 4TB flour with 2 TB of 7-spice powder:
Salt, freshly-ground pepper, cumin, curry, ginger, garlic, and a touch of cayenne
2 TB duck fat or other tasty fat plus another TB each for each new fry.
Brown half the floured meat creating a bit of a crust (1 lb or 9 large cubes) in 1 TB oil
Remove and brown other pound of floured meat, adding another TB oil
Use a little red wine or stock to scrape the Dutch Oven as needed between shifts of frying
Reserve the cooked meat.
BROWN MUSHROOMS (8oz)
Scrape the pan, leaving in all of the tidbits we scrape up, and add 1TB oil
Heat oil, add mushrooms and fry to a dark brown
Reserve the mushrooms
Scrape the Dutch Oven with 2TB of red wine or stock and add 1TB oil
Add two to three pounds of vegetables: onion, carrot, celery, green beans, leek, turnip, fresh peas, waxy potato or other.
Add 3 TB tomato paste
Season with s/fgp and fresh basil and/or parsley.
Cover the Dutch Oven and braise for 10 minutes to imbue the vegetables with the seasonings.
Halfway through, toss and add a touch more liquid if necessary.
COMPLETE THE CASSEROLE
Return the meat and the mushrooms to the Dutch Oven.
Cover the ingredients with equal parts stock, wine, and water.
Bring the broth to a simmer.
Remove the Dutch Oven from the stovetop to a 350* oven and cook uncovered for an hour.
Cover the casserole and cook for another hour.
Serve noodles. Rice. Crusty bread. Or nothing.
Good morning on this Beef Stew-Thursday, November 15.
We talked about fighting the winter with beef stew. We gave a chunk of space to Sally Chetwynd, she talking Winnie the Pooh and personal sorrow and going further.
We returned to the subject of Beef Stew, including a recipe.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
Have a good day, my friends.
See you soon.