Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How To Make French Beef Stew

First, take one ounce of desperation and mix in a lot of ingenuity!  We walked to our local grocery store today (in the slush and snow) only to find they were out of nearly everything.  Chicken?  All they had were livers.  Fish?  There was a line as long as a city block.  Veggies?  Ha!  They had one bag of potatoes, I grabbed their last 5 carrots, and there were no onions to be found.  In the end I grabbed a roast, some carrots, butter (because holy cow we had less than a stick, and I stocked up before the snow!), frozen green beans, and some onion soup mix.  
The snow outside our home right now, our neighbors built an igloo out of the mass of snow in front of their home!
I came home and I cut that roast into stew meat.  We got more meat this way for a lower cost.  I took that meat, mixed it with flour, coating it, and browned in some olive oil.  Then I added red wine (a Bordeaux we picked up at our wine tasting) to deglaze the pan.  Then I added water and let it simmer away.  I had no onions or garlic so I panicked a bit (and when I make this again I will add them) so I improvised with onion soup mix, garlic powder, and onion powder.  I also decided this stew was going to be French (what with the Bordeaux and all) so I added some thyme, and that seemed to add a lot of yumminess.  I chopped up carrots and celery and added them to the pot.  While that was going I mixed up a batch of homemade egg noodles.  We had potatoes on hand, but not knowing how long until we'll get more food I decided it was important to keep them.  I added frozen peas and green beans to the pot, and then the egg noodles.  Deciding it didn't have enough noodles I made another batch up.  I threw those in.  Now every time I added noodles I added whatever flour I had rolled them out in as well(to thicken the stew).  Then I began hunting around my kitchen, found my canned tomatoes, decided to try adding some of the fire roasted dice Muir Glen tomatoes.  I opened the can, spooned some of the stew into a dish, added a couple tomatoes and a splash of juice and then tried it.  Not bad, so I threw that can in as well.  
All in all it ended up turning out pretty damn good, especially considering I have never made stew in my life.  G has given it a hearty 2 thumbs up, and so it's sitting, waiting for dinner time.  It's snowing again, and we're supposed to get another 20 inches on top of our current 30+.  Well, we have tea, spice cake, quiche, red wine and stew.  I think we'll be okay for a while!


  1. So, I figured you'd enjoy this. Watching my recording of Grease from 06. I loved doing that show! Didn't know if you got to see it, just knew your family was all involved.

  2. Aloha,
    it looks wonderful!! yum I love Beef stew...especially when it is cold!
    I think the signs of a good cook is when you can substitute in real situations and still come out a winner! anyone can cook well with all the ingredients, well most, but when you have to improvise and it works within your venue....wahLaa

  3. It's like reading Little House in a modern day setting!!! Love post like this as you have to improvise things with your cooking. Which I find hard to do and working on it. Food that still taste great and nourishing as well. I hope and pray for a sunny day soon. Have you tried maple syrup candy yet? It's funny as I was reading LH before I went to bed.

  4. Kalee, this looks sooo good!!! Can't believe all the snow you guys are getting. Has the postal service been impacted by it? I feel like I should send you a care package with dehydrated food or protein bars... something!

    Could be less than a year now before I'm out there. My sister may be eligible for a promotion right outside of Baltimore... Not Philly but close enough, maybe we'll be neighbors :P

    Love reading your blog.

  5. I'm getting worried about u and the food situation 2!! Will the stores get more in?? Or moral dilemma - if u and G had to resort to cannibalism who would taste better covered in the garlic salt???