Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoroughly Stewed

Our New Year's Day party is over, and the stew was a big hit.

Here's how I would usually make it for just the two of us:

Beef Stew for Two

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
Two large russet potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 to 1 pound leftover pot roast (see yesterday's post)
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef stock or bouillon
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable concentrate
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large dutch oven.  Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms over medium low heat until they are softened and fragrant.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about a half an hour until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and the flavors have merged.  (If I am making this with raw meat instead of leftover pot roast, I brown it separately with a little garlic before beginning the rest of the process.)

Update: add additional water as needed.

Here's what I did today:

Beef Stew for Twenty

1/2 cup butter
3 onions, cut into chunks
3 pounds of carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 pound sliced white mushrooms
1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
12 pounds pot roast with cooking liquid, prepared per yesterday's recipe
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups beef bouillon
1/2 jar Better Than Bouillon vegetable concentrate
4 cups water (to slightly dilute the concentrated cooking liquid from the pot roast)

I sweated each type of vegetable separately to develop the flavor more deeply.  I ended up using my 16 quart stockpot and my large dutch oven for the stew because the volume was too great for the stockpot alone.

The knot in the middle of my back just reminded me (dummy!!) that I could have sliced most of those veggies with my mandoline instead of chopping them all by hand.  Sigh.  Maybe next year.  For now, I'm going to put my feet up and take a nap.

"For the millions of us who live glued to computer keyboards at work and TV monitors at home, food may be more than entertainment. It may be the only sensual experience left." ~Barbara Ehrenreich


  1. Cooking for twenty. Yikes. You're a braver soul than I! Glad it went well - the stew sounds delicious.
    I tried your pecan tart recipe recently ... definitely a keeper! Everyone loved them.
    I'm going to have to employ some tough love, however, and shelve the recipe until my husband and I succeed in dropping the few extra pounds that materialized over the holidays.
    Annoying how that happens.
    Thanks again! :)

  2. You're very welcome! I understand that tough love thing - I'm taking the remains of my holiday baking binge to the office tomorrow while we can still fit into out current clothes.