Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms

What's your beef stew recipe? There are seriously, like, 1 million beef stew recipes out there on the internet, all of them with mixed reviews. I found this one on the Cooking Light website (where else?), and decided to try it, because it had the word "basic" in the title, and that's what I wanted - not because it would be easy, but because I was something that's just traditional, without any crazy flavors. Anyway, this recipe was relatively easy to make, but it was time consuming (took about 2.5 hours on the stove top, though most of it wasn't particularly "hands-on."). I ended up cutting down on some of the salt by accident, because I skipped the very last step of the recipe (add 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper). That last forgetful moment, ended up really hurting the recipe. It was well received, but Kevin noted that it had lack of something - salt. So, once again, Marji skipped the last few words of a recipe. Shouldn't I have learned my lesson after the popovers? Anyway, I served this over rice, and it was a filling, warming meal for my family. I will make beef stew again, but I am not done exploring the plethora of recipes out there. If you have one to share with me, I'd love it!

The Critique
I love soup, and I love a stew even more. This beef stew tasted great. The broth had a nice blend of a wine and mushroom flavor to it. There were just the right amount of vegetables cooked well. Really, I loved this. But, since I am the critic, here are the things that I didn't like. First, the pieces of beef were too big. I felt like a cow chewing my cud with the amount of mastication I was doing. Perhaps it was the cows' ghosts weird revenge. Also, the white rice soaked up too much of the broth. Typically, I love that because I like my soups and stews even thicker, but this was too much and it detracted a bit from the flavor. For next time, I would recommend making this with barley or nothing. It's so good that it doesn't need an additive.

4 bowls but could very easily be 5.

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