Well, really it was only Rob and I. But when I make a recipe from someone, I feel almost like they are there with me. Tonight, I made Sandy's Beef Stew in the crockpot, served with a new discovery, Irish Mum's Bread from 101 Cookbooks. Every time I make this stew, it makes me very warm and cozy, and tonight was no exception. So here's to you Sandy!
Oven Baked Beef Stew
1 Tbsp. oil
2 lb. stew meat, cut in 1½" cubes (i got a beautiful piece of chuck roast and cubed it myself)
1/3 c. flour or 1/4 c. cornstarch (used both because the crockpot doesn't allow liquid to evaporate and my stew was a little thin)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder (or lots of minced fresh garlic ;D)
1 tsp. marjoram
12 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (used whole tomatoes, cause that is what I had)
10 oz. beef or vegetable broth (used some veal stock I had made a few months ago)
1/2 cup dry red wine (used Chocolate Porter)
2 cups cube peeled potatoes (turnips tonight)
1 cup sliced celery
4 medium carrots, sliced (2 carrots, cause that is what I had)
3 small onions, quartered (1 onion, diced)
1/4 tsp. pepper
Heat oil in in a pan over medium. Toss beef in flour and brown. Transfer to crocpot, deglaze pan with either stock or wine (or beer). Add salt, garlic powder, marjoram and pepper to crockpot. Stir in tomatoes, broth and wine (or beer); mix well. Place on low, cook three hours. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Cover; cook for 2 or 3 hours or until meat is tender.
Irish Mum's Brown Bread
3 cups whole wheat bread flour (Ross says: this is best when the flour is coarse as opposed to the whole wheat flour you get here which is fully milled. Heidi says: I used a standard whole wheat bread flour which seemed to be pretty finely milled, because that's all I could find, even at Rainbow Foods. Linda says: I also used standard wheat flour ~ despite my best efforts, I was unable to find coarse ground)
1 cup unbleached white bread flour (Heidi: I used King Arthur brand)
Pinch of salt (Linda says: at least a teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4+ cups buttermilk (Linda says: I needed at least another cup)
2 ounces butter
Melt the butter over gentle heat.
In a medium-sized bowl lightly beat the egg and then gradually add the buttermilk all the while stirring to incorporate the egg. Beat in the butter.
In another bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients as best you can (not really a prob if you can't find the coarse flour), and then stir in the buttermilk mixture. If you are using a baking tin the mixture should be on the wetter side - (heidi: like a thick brownie mix, something you could pour into the tin, not scoopable by hand really). If your dough is too dry, mix in small splashes of buttermilk until it is the right consistency.
Cook at 400F for 50 minutes on the middle rack. You want to hear a sort of hollow sound when you knock on the bottom of the tin. Resist the urge to take the bread out too soon, or the middle of the bread won't get cooked through.
Makes 1 loaf.