Posted by: literallydelicious | January 17, 2011

Beef and Cabbage Stew

I debated the picture. It really looks better than that, and tastes wonderful, too. We eat a lot of soups and stews; that’s one of the few foods that I’ll eat as leftovers. My husband isn’t that crazy about them, but I can eat for a week off a pot of pasta fagiole or gumbo or Italian sausage soup.

This dish came out of my desire to have beef stew and my husband’s desire to not have the usual beef stew. I chose root vegetables, mostly, and let it cook until everything was just short of mushy. Delicious!

The sugar in the recipe is to help form a crust on the meat chunks. Martha Stewart says the real way to do that is to brown the meat low and slow, but who’s got time for that? If you really must take a shortcut, Martha says, the sugar will do it. I add the flour because it helps create fond — you know, the crusty dark stuff on the bottom of the pan that then cooks off when you add the liquid and adds great flavor.

By the way, butternut squash is a pain to peel and chop. I usually cut it in half lengthwise, cover the halves with plastic wrap and microwave until the outside edges are just soft enough to cut through with a knife.

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BEEF AND CABBAGE STEW

Chuck roast

Brown sugar and flour (in a ratio of 2 to 1: 1/4 cup sugar with 1/8 cup flour, etc.)

Oil (I prefer peanut oil because it has a higher smoking point)

Onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or any other combination of veggies, cut into chunks

Cabbage, sliced in thin strips

Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Beef broth

Salsa and crackers, optional

1. Trim any excess fat from the roast, then cut into bite-size chunks. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot until hot. Place roast, a dozen or so cubes at a time, in a covered bowl with the brown sugar and flour and shake until coated. Brown in hot oil in several batches.

2. Turn heat to medium-high and add the vegetables, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until veggies are browning.

3. Return meat to the pan and add enough beef broth to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium/medium-low. Cook until veggies are tender.

4. Serve with crackers and a dollop of salsa, if desired.

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Responses

  1. You make that sound so good! How much cabbage do you use? (Or does that depend on how much you like cabbage?)
    Great tip on how to peel butternut squash. Last time I tried it (I put it in my chicken pot pie) I thought I’d have to use an axe to get it off.
    Have you ever made beef bourguignon? Oh my stars, it’s delicious. (basically beef stew, but whoa! it’s good!)
    I made it one year on Halloween and every child and parent who came to our door commented on how good it smelled.
    It’s a little labor intensive, but worth the trouble.
    I might have to make it tonight. Ü

    • I love cabbage, so I use tons. It cooks down, so it looks like overkill at first.

      I grew up with tomatoes in beef stew — period. No tomatoes, no stew. So the salsa is my nod to that. And its flavors go well with the beef and cabbage.

      Beef bourg. sounds good. I love fragrant dishes that make the house smell incredible. Want to share the recipe?

  2. Sounds great, Marilyn!
    We love stews and soups here too!

    • Except for not being dessert, they’re the perfect food. A bit of work to start, but then you’ve got multiple meals taken care of. And I’ve never found one yet that doesn’t freeze well.


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