Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Beef Stew from Paleo Comfort Foods

Happy Tuesday!  You may or may not have noticed, that I did not post a recipe on Friday.  This past Friday, I had my annual holiday party and I was swamped with yard work, house cleaning, and last but not least, food preparation.  We may have missed a post on Friday, but you will soon gain the best turkey breast recipe I have ever tasted in my life (Sorry Mom and Mamaw).  In the meantime, today I will review the Beef Stew from Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen.  I didn't see that they have posted this recipe online anywhere, so I hope you have the book! 

There are many stew recipes out there to choose from, but I wanted to cook this one because it uses anchovies.   I was curious how their addition would add flavor to the stew.  I also wanted to try this recipe because it allows for finishing the stew in the slow cooker.  

First, I gathered my ingredients.  

Looking ahead, I defrosted my homemade chicken broth.  I used my new huge Pyrex 8-Cup Measuring Cup, so I wouldn't have to heat the broth in batches.  I've also started using this measuring cup in kombucha making.  So far it's been a nice edition to my kitchen.  I also preheated my oven.

Once that was in the microwave, I added some avocado oil to my pan and browned my stew meat in batches. 

While my meat was browning, I combined my anchovy fillets and garlic.  I forgot to add my tomato paste to this mix for reasons unknown to me.  I'm beginning to believe I have a subconscious issue with tomato paste for as many times as I have forgotten to add it at a recipe's stated time.  Four anchovy fillets, the amount called for in the recipe, really isn't that much anchovy.  Also, my canned anchovies stuck together, so be careful not to add more than needed.  The fillets break up really easily and really don't resemble fish at all once you mash them together.   

There's no fish here!
While the beef was still browning, I chopped up some carrot and onion.  I also prepped my green beans.

Because I was using my crock pot, I put the meat into my crock as I completed browning each batch.  I went a head and added my broth to the crock as well.  

I cut up some bacon and added it to the pan.  Once it was crispy, I added all of my vegetables except the green beans to the pan.

Oh, what a dirty pan.

After the vegetables had softened and released some juice, I added some almond flour and then finally some wine.

I stirred everything together and let the wine reduce for a bit before adding it to my crock with the beef and broth.

I must say I was a bit concerned about the dirty pan after browning my meat, but look at it after simmering everything.  Clean!

With my crock full, I added the spices and herbs called for in the recipe and the forgotten tomato paste. Last but not least, I added my green beans.  I wasn't terribly worried about adding the tomato paste late given that it would have plenty of cooking time in the crock pot.

After 4 hours on high, this is my stew.  

Accessibility and Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find all of the ingredients at your big box grocery store with the exception of maybe the almond flour at reasonable prices.  Of course that assumes you can buy wine at your grocery store.  I would suggest getting a jar of anchovy fillets if your store has them that way you can easily store them in the refrigerator.  Here's an interesting exchange about how long anchovies will keep covered in oil in the refrigerator.

Preparation & Cooking Time:  It took me 45 minutes to get the stew into the crock pot.  The stew cooked in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high.

Clean up:  Clean up was really easy.  I was able to put everything in the dishwasher except for my knife.

The Paleo Review: Thumbs Up!  As I experienced with Paleo Comfort Foods' chicken soup, this is a very meaty stew.  I almost wished there were more vegetables in it.  They note that the green beans don't add much flavor.  That may be true, but I liked the change in texture.  Regardless, the flavor of the stew was deep and as they note, it did improve overnight.   Could I taste the anchovies?  Nope, but I'm certain they added to deepness of the flavor.  The recipe freezes well.

Have you found any beef stew recipes that you've wanted to try?