Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cider Stew

No picture today :(  sorry.  Sometimes I get on a roll with plating and eating, or we're just in a big rush, and I forget to take a picture until there are like 2 bites in my bowl, and that's just not very appetizing and not a good way to present haha.  This beef stew recipe was very very good.  I've made a lot over the years...even one time beef stew tried to kill me.  But that's a story for another day.  What I liked about this recipe is that apple cider is used to deglaze the pan after you brown the beef.  I thought that would give the broth a good flavor, and it does.  Also, I'd never seen a recipe that called for vinegar in the simmering liquid.  This one does, and I think it's what made the beef so tender.  Because it's definitely not the cut of beef I'm using, which is just regular old stew beef from the grocery store.  So that made it a good enough recipe to share, even if I forgot to take a picture.  Next time I make it I will, and I'll add it :)  This is from the GF cookbook I got at the Amish Country Store in Unity.

Cider Stew
2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
3 tbsp flour (I used a GF flour blend)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp thyme
3 tbsp oil
2 cups apple cider (may need more)
½ cup water (may need more)
1-2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 med potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 med carrots, peeled and sliced
2 med onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and thyme in gallon-size ziploc bag.  Add meat and shake to coat.

In Dutch oven, brown meat in oil.  Drain off fat (mine had nothing to drain).  Stir in apple cider, water, and vinegar (may need to add more cider and/or water in equal parts to cover meat).  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hrs or until tender.  Skim any brown foam off the top that you can (mine had a lot, maybe because there was no fat to drain when it said to...I just used a big cereal spoon to skim the top and put it into a glass dish).

Stir in vegetables.  At this point you may need to add more water or broth to cover all the vegetables.  Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until done (there was more foam by this time so I skimmed some more, just mostly so it would look better haha, not because I think it's bad...but maybe it is foamy fat and you want it gone...I don't really know the science behind that).

I always add more veggies than a recipe says to, because that makes the soup go farther, and plus my kids always go for the carrots and potatoes over the meat, so I always put more in there.  I think that's why I had to add more liquid.  There wasn't even enough to cover the veggies once I added them, so I added broth.  I could have added more cider, I suppose, but I didn't want to flavor to be too apple-y.  The broth was a little thin, though, in the finished product, but I'm not sure I would change that.  It was good for dunking bread (GF of course) in while we were eating.

This recipe was really good, and now that I see what the vinegar did to the meat, I think I will try that trick in other recipes going forward.  It really made it so tender, and the stew over all was so good. 

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