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Beef Stew with Cilantro Rice 31Aug08

beef stew

This actually came out a whole lot better than I thought. But it did take some work. Try it out, Vini seemed to really like it and had 2 heaping servings!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs or .6 kgs of stewing beef cut into 1 in cubes
4 cups of beef stock
2 cups of water
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of red wine (cooking red wine is okay, i used a cabernet-merlot that was handy)
1 medium yellow onion – cut into thick slices
4 cloves of garlic – crushed or chopped fine
2 stalks of celery – cut into 2 in chunks
4 carrots – cut into 1 in chunks
2 medium white potatoes – cut into 1 in chunks (you can use small red potatoes as well, about 6 or 7)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 springs of fresh rosemary
3 springs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro (or coriander if you’re aussie)
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of long grain rice
1 3/4 cup of water

Step 1: The meat
Mix the 1/3 cup of flour with about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Cover the beef cubes evenly with the flour mixture and put the remaining flour in a bowl – it should be around roughly 2 tablespoons. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of water to the flour mix and whisk – yes it will be watery! – set aside for later use. Meanwhile, heat a big pot (big enough for the stew) with olive oil over medium flame and slowly place in the chunks of meat – only put enough to fill the surface. Brown each side for about a minute each, remove the meat and cook the next batch. after all the meat has been browned, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of beef stock – IT WILL SPLATTER – so be careful! with a wooden spoon scrape off the bottom bits of the pan and pour that mixture over the meat. Now drizzle over the Worcestershire sauce, and aside for later.

Step 2: The stew
In that same big pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and throw in the onions. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and dried oregano. When the onions are starting to look translucent, throw in the garlic for about 2 minutes. Next pour in about half of the beef stock and bring to simmer. Then add the red wine. While that comes to simmer, this is the best time to wash and prep the carrots, potatoes and celery – in that order. And throw them in as soon as they’re ready! Add in the rest of the beef stock and tomato paste when all the veggies are in, and bring that to a simmer. Now the herbs! Take the the leaves off the stems for the rosemary and thyme and just throw them in, you can also run them through a knife to bring out the flavors before putting them in as well. Now that everything is in there, we let that simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 35 mins. After about 35 mins, throw in the meat with the stock and bring to a simmer. Then slowly stir in the flour/water mixture and this will start the thickening. Let that whole thing simmer for another 40 mins to 50 mins. Check the veggies to see if it’s ready!

Step 3: The rice
Whether you use a rice cooker or just a large saucepan, cook the rice in the rather dry side. Cooked but not too moist! Let the rice cool by keeping it open for about 10 mins. Slowly fold in the chopped cilantro by adding in a little at at time. Just make sure the rice isn’t too hot or else it will wilt the cilantro quickly. You can serve the stew on top of the rice or keep them separate – either way will be yummy!

There’s a lot of ingredients and it takes quite a while to make but it was fun to experiment with some different ingredients. Let me know how yours comes out!

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