Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to doing what I do best

As always, the bf and I made resolutions to lose weight this year which of course means cooking at home a lot more. It also means that I will be getting much more creative in what I prepare.

After my Aldi run today produced some pretty great stew beef, I created an oven beef stew that is not only super yummy but also easy and waistline friendly (i.e. I made with with no butter and only 4 tablespoons of olive oil which is heart healthy). As a side note, this meal is also super cheap to prepare, especially since you can get away with a cheaper cut of meat (again just make sure there is some fat in the meat so that it does not dry out).

This recipe also introduces one of my favorite go to pots, my Le Creuset Braiser (which I found at Goodwill for $10). Besides my dutch oven, my braiser is one of my go to pieces of cookware -- it works well as a large skillet and also as bakeware.

Oven Beef Stew with Cola
1 package beef stew meat (choose a cut with a little bit of fat)
2 stalks celery
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
5 small potatoes chopped
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons each: Worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce
6 oz cola (you can just fill the empty tomato paste can)
2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon each: granulated garlic, Emeril's essence, pepper
1 tablespoon each: basil, Italian seasoning, sage
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons
2 slices bacon chopped
Frozen peas
Water (up to 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 450. In a large dutch oven or braiser cook the bacon until crisp. While the bacon cooks, mix the 2 tablespoons of flour (plus a little more if necessary) with the steak seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, granulated garlic, essence and pepper. Coat the stew beef in the flour mixture.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan with the bacon. Add the coated stew beef. Cook for a minute or two until the beef starts to brown. Add the rest of the olive oil and the 3 tablespoons flour. Stir well. Place the pan in the oven for 4 minutes. After the 4 minutes stir well and return to oven for another 4 minutes.

While the beef cooks in the oven, chop the onions, celery, garlic and potatoes (you may also add 1 chopped carrot). Remove the beef mixture from the oven and place on the stove over med. low heat. Reduce oven heat to 325. Add a bit more olive oil if necessary. Now add the celery, garlic, carrot and onion. Stir well and cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomato paste, reserving can and allow melt. Now add the Worcestershire sauce and teriyaki sauce. Stir well and fill the tomato paste can with cola (regular or diet). Add this to the pan and stir well. Make sure the tomato paste is completely dissolved.

Now fill the tomato paste can with water. Add to the pan. Add the potatoes and stir well. Add 2 more cans of water. Stir well and add the Italian seasoning, basil, bay leaf, sage and, the rest of the salt, pepper, granulated garlic and essence. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and return to the 325 oven.

Cook for one hour. Remove from oven and stir well. Return to oven for another hour. Stir well and check the potatoes for doneness. If the potatoes are not fork tender return to the oven for another 15 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. You may also need to add additional cans of water when you check the stew. Add a handful or two of frozen peas just before serving.

Serve with crusty bread and salad. Top with a little bit of sour cream and green onions if you like.



KatieSPerk said...

I can't believe you found that braiser at GW! That is an amazing find!

Freck said...

You inspire me to make stews and use a crockpot. Your recipes look so yummy!!

Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition said...

Yum! This might be a good recipe to try this weekend. I love that it's healthy, too!