Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beef and Sausage Stew

Another cold spell is coming!  Now that we are in the middle of February, I am making sure to milk all these cold days for what they are worth.  After last week's snowfall (9.5 inches!) and Sunday's high temperature expected to be below freezing, I am living it up. Before I know it I'll see nothing but double-digit numbers that begin with 8 or 9 in the forecast with equally as dismal humidity and air pressure numbers.  (I watch a lot of "Wake up with Al.")  And I'll be reminded of how gross the human body can be when one doesn't take a shower three times a day like I do between the months of May and October.

Speaking of how gross the human body is, apparently they get very disgusting on a cruise ship that's lost all power and is floating through the Gulf of Mexico.  Probably not the greatest vacation ever but I bet there was never a group of people more excited to see Mobile, Alabama in recent history.  Other wacky news includes the meteor that HIT. EARTH.  I should note that I am not, in any way, an expert on astral things other than my obsession with Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album but, knowing how big the universe allegedly is, this story scares the beejezus out of me.   Now I have to add 'meteor' to my 'things-to-watch-out-for' list when I walk out of my house every day.

Oh, and Duke beat UNC in basketball this week.  This was neither wacky, nor unexpected but I wanted to make sure I included it.

So let's have some stew!  This stew has half a dozen types of meat in it.

Not really, just two - but they are two substantial meats. Although it was delicious, I would leave out one of these next time and save my arteries the agony.  I would also use precooked sausage (as the recipe calls for but which I failed to notice).  I used homemade sausage that had not been cooked and this certainly added a richness to the stew that is probably not expected when you follow the original directions.  And in typical winter weather fashion, this is a slow cooker recipe.  

It will be a sad day when I put it up for the season.  Side note - I spy Newt.  

Beef and Sausage Stew

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-puprose flour, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
3 red potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 cup chopped leek
1 1/3 cup sliced white mushrooms (I added these, the original recipe called for a chopped onion)
4 ribs celery, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons water

Put 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper in a large sealable bag.  Shake so it is well mixed.  Add beef.  Shake again until beef is coated with flour mixture.  Put beef in your slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients except the 2 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of water.  stir well.  Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 12 hours or on high 4 to 6 hours.  One hour before serving, remove the lid and skim of any excess fat should you have used uncooked sausage (like I did).  Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with the 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Stir until becomes a paste.  Add the paste to the stew and mix well.  Cover.  Turn slow cooker to High and cook until thickened.  

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