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Friday, 7 August 2009

Only a stew will do

As it has been almost constant rain in the latter half of July and beginning of August, some days it almost feels like Autumn has arrived. Although the tomato plants in my yard are desperate for the sunshine to ripen them. So with the crappy weather in mind I decided to make a beef stew - gallons of it to last about four meals.

I'm not a one for measurements so I tend to the judge the cooking as I go and according to the amount of red Merlot wine I might have drunk during the process. I am not alone in this instinctive style of cooking as French Fancy has previously informed me.

Having been out shopping for most of the ingredients, I cracked open the wine and poured myself a generous glass full. Right, it's now time to roll the Aberdeen Angus beef chunks in flour and sieve to get rid of the excess. Switch on the gas and heat up the oil in the frying pan and slightly below spitting temperature pop in the beef cubes to cook. Sip wine. Savour. Watch the rain pour down outside.

Dust mushrooms and prepare the new potatoes (pre-washed) and carrots (quickly peel and wash) and put on stove to boil. Drink more wine. Savour.

Once meat is cooked take out of oil and put cut mushrooms in frying pan and cook through for a few minutes (about half a glass of wine casually sipped worth of time).

Put kettle on and once boiled whack three beef stock cubes in a pouring jug and make stock by creating a stirring motion with a fork. Always stir clockwise otherwise the stirring combined with the wine will make you fall over. Check wine levels in bottle to see if can spare any for stew.

Assume now that spuds and carrots are nicely cooked but not boiled to death and drain before introducing them into industrial sized cooking pot. Add stock and beef and mushrooms and open and drain a tin of green lentils that you found in the back of the cupboard and add to the mix. Add more water and stir well. Drink more wine.

Find things in back of the fridge - old peppers - cherry tomatoes - half an onion - chop them up in bite sized chunks and add to pot. Add in miserly splash of red wine as you don't want to waste a good drinker. Chuck in a few herbs for that country style aroma. Stir well and leave on low heat for three quarters of an hour. If in mood buy dumpling mix and make dumplings and add for last fifteen minutes of cooking time.

Serve and finish wine - if any left. Enjoy for four days.


Gail's Man said...

You sound like Keith Floyd and the way he used to slurp wine whilst he was cooking on the TV.

Hope to bump into you sometime soon.

Emily said...

Sounds fabulous Phil. Nothing like some stew and a hunk of bread to bring sunshine to your world again!

Phil Lowe said...

I do like a glass or two of red wine Gail's Man and the stew was tasty too.

Thanks Emily and nicely put comment. :0)

Cheryl said...

This is a fun way to write a recipe! Great idea for a book...

French Fancy said...

(rushes in and glows with pride at an honourable mention)

We've got a friend staying and now I have to go and do hostessy type duties (get drunk and attempt to cook). I bet you are a fantastic cook - maybe you'll get to try out this dish in our kitchen one day


StGeorgeOfEngland said...

Sounds lovely Phil. Any left? I have wine.

I am like you, being of the single living persuasion at present, in that I prepare a good few days meals in one go. Usually my slow cooker is involved and gives three good portions of stew, chili, or cottage pie filling. Tomorrow while I am working it will be cooking my brisket of beef, complete with a good glug of red. Two dinners and loads of cold meat for sarnies. Yummy!

Have a good weekend my friend. I have soem pics from the walk to mail you, be warned! Hehe.

Marian Barker said...

Stew and a hunk sounds good to me ....... now where can I find me a hunk???? *smirks*

Dean said...

Cant beat a good stew ! but as StGeorge says mine gets bunged in the slow cooker on Saturday and its ready for me and family when we finish work on a Sunday and it justs tastes better the longer its left.
Just bought a recipe book yesterday for the slow cooker too to try to get a few ideas so i can use it more.

StGeorgeOfEngland said...

I have two slow cooker books. One even has pudding and cake recipes in it. Amazing what you can do in a slow cooker. Sorry, have to go. My hands smell of onions as I am preparing my brisket of beef for later.

Dedene said...

The stew looks delicious! I cook exactly the same way. Isn't it sad that summertime fare consists of hot dishes?
Sorry I've not been around lately!

Dean said...

Just to hijack the the blog a little while me and George take over ;) i love small onions or shallots cooked slowly in the stew with a nice brisket cant beat em !

Phil Lowe said...

Glad you all liked my stew blog. Wish I could have shared some of the yummy stew with you all.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

I made a stew, too...

Hope you are