To go with the sourdough, I decided to make some beef stew. I’m not a huge beef stew lover, but I know mom likes it, and I ran into a huge package of stew meat at Costco, so it was clearly meant to be.
I found a recipe that worked well for my circumstances. Mom and I have been going 30 rounds about the slow-cooker (I hate it. I have a well-earned distrust of slow-cookers because -a- I’m not a patient woman and they take for-ever, and -b- I’ve had them really foul up recipes. I’ve come to believe that browning meat sometimes should happen separately from combining with other ingredients, especially after having eaten something super-oily from the CrockPot. Also, I’ve had meat literally dissolve in a slow cooker over the course of a workday before, and I found that completely disgusting.) I like the Dutch oven. Same basic premise, much better execution. But I was baking the bread in the Dutch oven, and I thought as long as I was making something I don’t love, I might as well do it using a tool that I don’t love.
If you’re asking me why I’m going 30 rounds on this topic with a woman who won’t cook— do you not have someone like this in your life? Sometimes my family likes to argue just because they can. I didn’t inherit the love for it, but I recognize it.
I chose this recipe, and I followed it pretty closely in preparing it in the morning. I left out the bay leaf because bay leaves are annoying. I also didn’t have beef broth, so I did miso, which turned out well.
When I got home, I tasted it and was pretty pleased with the rich broth. I gave it a liberal dose of hot sauce, more Worcestershire, and about a cup of red wine. To make up for ditching the bay leaf, I included some thyme, black pepper and salt. I threw some more paprika in there.
Mom and I agreed— meat was awesomely tender, vegetables just right— neither mushy nor underdone. I thought the stew broth was one of the richest and most delicious that I’d tried. I’ll definitely use this recipe again.