Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy Day Beef Stew And Yummy Dipping Rolls

Overcast, rainy weather says beef stew like nothing else.

Liv received a beautiful kid's cookbook by Paula Dean from a sweet friend of ours. Hands down, this has been our favorite kid's cookbook. It now contains about 16 different dog-eared pages....a bad habit she evidently inherited from her mother. :o) She has been slowly working her way through it. Magic rice, chocolate dipped bananas, campfire stew, and egg in toast are just a few of the recipes she has tried. She still wants to try Fried Egg Sandwiches, Homemade Pretzels, and Stone Soup. What you won't find dog-eared, are the Cheese on a Log or Ants on a Log. Do I need to mention that Liv is anti-celery? You also won't find the Sloppy Joes or the Tuna Melt dog-eared...this makes the 9-year-old Me gasp in shock. But one of her favorites from this cookbook, is the beef stew. I concur....it's awesome, and super fun for kids. This turbulent Spring weather has been bringing on the beef stew cravings.

It's not the most gourmet of recipes... (it calls for onion soup mix instead of real onion, but when your 4-year-old's favorite part of the recipe is to sprinkle the onion soup mix into the crock pot, you make changes to your normal routine. :o)...but it's perfectly kid-friendly! I like to double the recipe.

I think the girls' would say they that the rolls are the best part of beef stew. You can also serve this stew over rice as the recipe suggests, since it's nice and thick. But I have a delicious roll recipe that the girls like to help me with. Since they freeze well, I take a few out in the morning and, by lunch time, they are nice and thawed.

Paula Dean's Meat Stew with Veggies:

1/3 C. all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. lean stew beef, fat cut off
2 T. oil (We use Olive oil)
1 package dry onion soup mix
3 carrots, washed
1 large baking potato (Liv likes to use Yukon Gold potatoes)
2 stalks of celery, washed
2-1/4 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
Cooked white rice (or rolls, recipe below)

First, combine the flour, salt and pepper and place in ziplock bag. Set it aside. Cut up the steak, trimming the fat. Place cut steak into a ziplock bag with the flour mixture. Shake vigorously until well-coated. Holding a colander over the garbage can, shake the excess flour off the stew meat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, place the flour-coated steak in the skillet in a single layer, turning until brown on all sides. Turn off the heat and use tongs to place meat in the slow cooker.

Meanwhile, Holland likes to rinse the veggies. We like to add mushrooms to our stew.

She then passes the clean veggies to Liv as she cuts them into large pieces. ( This particular time, Liv got a little carried away and cut the veggies smaller than directed in the recipe. Wait--what? Liv got carried away? Shocking, I realize. :o) The recipe says to cut each carrot into 5-6 pieces and the potato into large chunks. Since the bread-winner of our family can't have celery, we usually stick the whole stalk in the stew, cook with it, then discard at the end. If you aren't a fan of celery because of the texture, I recommend you do this, as it flavors the stew so well and it's easy to take out at the end.)

While the girls are still preparing the veggies, I have browned the meat and placed it in a single layer in the crockpot. The onion soup mix is next. Just sprinkle mix over the meat. Holland takes this step very seriously.

Then Holland takes the veggies Liv has cut and pours them over the meat and soup mix.

Add 2 Cups of water and turn to high for 4 hours.
Then reduce heat to low for another 3 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving the stew, measure 1/4 C. water. Stir in the cornstarch until there aren't any lumps. Add this to the stew and stir. Let the stew thicken for 15 minutes. (I've actually never done this step because I usually forget and don't miss the extra thickness. Ladle rice into bowls, pour stew over top. OR, make the divine roll recipe below while the crockpot is slaving over your stew!

I found this roll recipe online a couple of years back. It's so quick and easy, especially because I use our breadmaker to prepare the dough. Tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, these rolls are perfectly suited for dipping into a yummy bowl of beef stew. I did make a few slight changes, so below you will find the revised recipe. If you prefer to not use a breadmaker, this recipe works well using your mixer's dough hook.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

1/2 C. warm water
1/2 C. warm milk
1 egg
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1-3/4 C. whole wheat bread flour
2 C. white bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 stick of butter


Place water, milk, egg, 1/2 C. butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in pan of the bread maching in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough/knead. Press start. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into 12 portions and roll into a ball gently but tightly. (Holland is using a lettuce cutter to do this step. It's a perfect utensil for kids learning how to cut!

Place point side down on a greased cookie sheet.

Next, dot each roll with butter. Cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place; let rise at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden.

Number of servings: 10-12

1 comment:

emily wierenga said...

sounds delicious! thank you for sharing! i'm always on the lookout for good recipes. have a beautiful day. e.


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