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kitchenOne of my hopes for this blog, aside from forcing me to write, is to unleash some of my culinary creations on the world…

…so I’m sorry for that…

This particular creation, though, isn’t a difficult thing.  I took pictures and all but the basis of the recipe is this:

Cut up veggies and meat, stick in a crock pot with water and bullion, put on low for hours on end and eat after church.  The end.

I mean, as long as you put some sort of vegetable in it, some sort of cubed, solid meat in it, and let it stew for multiple hours on low, you will have stew.  Edible, probably delicious stew.

Not a hard combination.

So why share it?  Because, in its own way, it combines everything this blog is about and thus is the greatest first post ever.

I guess the best thing I have is to show you what we are using for ingredients in this stew:

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B-size potatoes for fun, carrots, celery, green onions, and sirloin (it’s what was on sale).  We were wandering through Fareway and I thought, “Oh, beef stew!  That sounds fun!”  Last week it made its way into my sermon and it’s been crazy cold and warm beef stew sounded damn good.  So tada!

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My secret ingredient!  If I made soup and everyone who is eating it drinks, there is a good damn chance beer made it into it somehow.  I had some Dopplebock in the fridge and it would have been a better choice but it’s $3/bottle Dopplebock that I’ll review on Friday so it stayed in the fridge.  After multiple hours most of the beer flavor will disappear but it will still enhance the flavor and be amazing.

…unless you don’t like beer, then I will swear up and down there is none in it.

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The broth base.  I honestly don’t know if it’s any good, it just looked like high quality and I didn’t want to use typical bullion because I’m a hipster or something.  But it worked so it must not have been horrible.

I didn’t take a picture but here’s how I mixed it: a bunch of broth powder, a bottle of beer, and a wooden spoon.  Not a real hard option.

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Then add stuff.  The order isn’t real important here, just add stuff until it’s all in.  Then cover with water.  If you roughly use what I used, it ends up being about 6 cups of water.  Obviously your results will vary if you use more or less stuff.

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Just coming from Christmas, I can’t help but think about Grandpa.  Part of the reason he tends to make an appearance in sermons and just every part of my life this time of year is because we lost in on Christmas Eve ten years ago.

Part of me wants to dwell on that day but because I have that unhealthy obsession with food, I’ll focus on that.  I still remember eating his last crock pot full of beef stew to this day.  We slowly ate it.  It was delicious.  Try as I might, mine is never as good.

BUT, I do know the real secret ingredient that he used.  If you look closely at that picture, you can see it.  You probably won’t even notice is, and it certainly won’t be ingredients list because I like having this secret ingredient as a secret.  But if you look hard, you can see it.

Okay, back on task.  If you remember, this is for after church so, logically, all of the pictures have to be from Saturday night.  Everything was put in, cooked on low all night, and made a delicious stew.  Now a smart food blogger would take pictures of the finish product but I didn’t.  Nora and I got home and dug in.

And it was good!

But it wasn’t perfect.  If I were to do it again, I would start it cooking much latter because everything got a bit soft.  It was delicious, and the potatoes rocked, but everything else was a bit soft.

I would also use less water.  It looked like perfect, hearty stew.  Allow all of the veggies to contribute their moisture, as well, and it got pretty soupy.  The broth was killer but there was too much of it.  Way too much.  Lesson learned for next time.

So in honor of my grandfather and a new blog, here’s my stew recipe (sans secret ingredient):

BEEF STEW!
2 Cups Chopped Carrots
2 Cups Chopped Green Onions
2 Cups Chopped Celery
2 Cups Cubed Potatoes (or about 4 cups B-Size Potatoes)
2 Pounds Cubed Meat (Beef or Pork probably best; chicken might lead to bad things)
1 12 ounce beer
4 cups water
Beef Broth Base for 6 cups broth

Combine base and beer in Crock Pot. Add stuff. Add water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Eat and enjoy.

So in the last week I’ve cooked stew based on grandpa’s, replace a serpentine belt on a 2.2 Ecotec (which is great fun, let me tell you), and thought about him quite a bit.

So here to you, grandpa.  Heaven is better place for having you in it.

– Robby

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