Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overnight Beef Stew

Here in Atlanta, the weather is getting crispy. There is a chill in the air. Jack Frost might be breezing through soon.... Okay, okay a bit much. Fall means I get to turn my air conditioner off full blast. Regardless! I am ready for fall recipes! This Overnight Beef Stew was absolutely delicious! And it's a great opportunity to try out new vegetables, like - rutabagas, per se? (Rutabaga, you say? A little bit of Monica in my life, A little bit of Erica by my side! A little bit of Rita's what I need! Umm, wrong Bega!) Also, easy-easy to make! Can you say Crock Pot?
Overnight Beef Stew

***I used Lengua (beef tongue) because it is incredibly flavorful, tender and cheap! Since many people aren't a fan I have written the recipe substituting it for Chuck Roast. See the note after the recipe for how to prepare the lengua as I did in the original version.

1 medium Chuck Roast
1 Rutabaga, large dice
1 Turnip, large dice
2-3 Carrots, diced
2 Potatoes, diced
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1 lg. Yellow Onion, sliced thick
1 cup Sweet Peas
2 Tbs Tomato Paste (organic is tasty!)
1 tsp Rosemary, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Basil, dried
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Celery Seed
1 tsp Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbs Cornstarch
2 cups Beef Broth

Turn your crockpot on high while you are preparing the veggies (gives them a slight caramelization, aka flavor!). {If you do not have a crockpot, just put in a large pot, bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer} Brown the roast over medium high heat. Put about 2/3 of the vegetables in the pot and then add in the roast, whole. Cover with the remaining vegetables. Whisk all the of the seasonings, tomato paste and cornstarch into the beef broth. Pour over the roast and vegetables. Cook on high for up to 8 hours. Remove the roast to chop or shred to taste. Add back into the stew and simmer on low for up to another 8 hours. (you know how food always tastes better as leftovers? Try refrigerating the stew for a few hours after you cut the beef down, then reheat in the crockpot. It's a pretty long scientific explanation as to why this works, but it does!)

Serve with crusty bread or biscuits

***To prepare the lengua, follow the instructions for the chuck roast up until cutting it. Remove from the pot and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the fatty connective tissue underneath and discard. From the back, pull the outer skin forward to "peel" it. Cut into large chunks and add back to the stew. Yes, there will be some "taste buds" left on the sides. If you don't like the texture, feel free to cut away these parts. What's left is just like pot roast, but better.

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