Last year, after seeing the Julie/Julia movie, I came home and immediately had to cook with butter. I couldn't get enough of Julia Child and even went so far as to make Boeuf Bourguignon for my dinner club. And it was good. Really good. A little time consuming, however. So, last Sunday, I decided to compromise a tad and make my stew in a crock pot. You know what? It was good, too.
I started out by looking through a few recipes here and there to get an idea of how I wanted to proceed. It turns out that I used many of the same procedures that were utilized during the making of the Julia Child version. Basic stuff, really.
First, fry up a little bacon...about 4 of 5 slices. Use the bacon in a sandwich. We're just looking for the fat for now.
Take about 2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite size pieces, and dry it off.
Put the meat into a freezer bag with some seasoned flour (about 1/2 cup). I seasoned mine with some Old Bay's Seasoning and pepper. Use whatever floats your boat.
Shake it all up.
Saute the meat until browned...don't overcrowd...do it in batches.
Probably this would be better if I didn't use a non-stick pan....we want the brown stuff on the bottom to deglaze.
Gather the ingredients: some good red wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste (about a tablespoon), garlic.....add it to the pan drippings and heat through.
Put the browned meat in the crock pot, add some red potatoes, baby carrots, pearl onions (I used frozen), and two bay leaves. Pour in the wine/beef broth combo.
I love me some potatoes....
Turn the crock-pot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. If the stew is a little thin, combine a two tablespoons of cornstarch with a little water, stir until smooth, and mix into the stew.
The only thing I was disappointed about was the look of my stew...so brown. I asked for suggestions. Tomatoes, I was told. Put a can of tomatoes in. So the next time, I added the tomatoes and some frozen veggies.
You tell me--does it look better?