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Old Fashioned Beef Stew--Gluten Free

@GFHomemade  #GlutenFreeHomemade

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Updated October 7, 2016.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew--Gluten Free

American’s have a real love affair with old fashioned beef stew.  It’s delicious!  Once poor man’s food, beef stew became a mid-century comfort food favorite.  Today, old fashioned beef stew is served with flare at high end gourmet restaurants.

Stews are almost as ancient as is mankind.  Haunches of meat were simmered for a long time in water and whatever was at hand was thrown in to make a meal, of sorts. Overtime, traditional stew became understood to be a concoction of meat stewed with vegetables, perhaps some fruits, in a flavorful gravy.

This is what the peasants ate on a good day when a rare hunk of meat came their way. They stretched that precious piece of protein as far as it could possibly go.  Thus, the perpetual pot of soup or stew simmering over a bed of coals for days on end, with leftovers tossed in at the end of each day, so nothing went to waste.

Every culture has one or more signature stews.  The Italians have their ragout.  The French have their fricassées.  There’s Polish bigos, Hungarian goulashes, Moroccan tagines, Indonesian semurs, Mexican pazoles, Japanese nikujaga and Armenian Khash, to name just a few.

Stewing is a method of cookery used to draw out the flavor of tough cuts of meat to make them delicious and tender.  Tough cuts of meat include parts from more mature livestock, neck, oxtail, shank or brisket.  Because these tough cuts of meat are less desirable, they tend to be more affordable than tender cuts, such as the beef cuts called Top Sirloin, Porterhouse, Prime Rib and T-bone.

Old fashioned beef stews use enough liquid to generously cover the meat and sometimes more to make enough gravy in which to cook dumplings.

For a highly nutritious meal, serve old fashioned beef stew with a chilled vegetable juice appetizer, such as tomato or V-8 Juice™, whole grain dumplings or biscuits, and green salad with bleu cheese dressing.


Old Fashioned Beef Stew

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Time:  3 ½ hours

Servings:  6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, tenderized and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free potato starch
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over high heat until shimmering.
  2. In small batches, quickly sear the stew meat until browned, and then remove and set aside.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and let cool enough to safely handle, and then wipe it out with a paper towel.
  4. In a small bowl, combine potato starch, thyme, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.
  5. Over medium heat, melt the butter.
  6. Add mushrooms, onion and celery, and sauté until vegetables are softened and the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and stir into vegetables until melted.
  8. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  9. Stir in the seasoned potato starch mix; continue stirring for one minute after roux begins to foam.
  10. Stir in tomato paste until well mixed.
  11. Deglaze the pot with wine.
  12. Over medium high heat, slowly stir in the beef broth to incorporate the roux.
  13. Add the seared beef.
  14. Stir constantly while stew comes to a boil, and then continue stirring one minute more until gravy thickens.
  15. Add bay leaf.
  16. Reduce heat to a simmer, and then cover the pot.
  17. Simmer stew for one hour, stirring occasionally, or until meat is just fork tender.
  18. Over medium high heat, add carrots and potatoes.
  19. Reduce heat to a simmer, and then cover the pot.
  20. Simmer stew for 30 to 40 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until carrots and potatoes are fork tender.
  21. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley.

Variations

Microwave Magic

  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat until shimmering.
  2. In small batches, quickly sear the stew meat, and then remove and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine potato starch, thyme, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.
  4. In a large microwave safe casserole dish, melt full measure of butter in microwave oven on full power for 30 to 40 seconds.
  5. Stir in seasoned potato starch mixture and minced garlic.
  6. Slowly stir in tomato paste, wine and beef stock.
  7. Add seared beef, mushrooms, onion, celery and bay leaf.
  8. Cover and cook on power level 5 for 11 to 13 minutes or until thickened; stir halfway through cooking time.
  9. Add carrots and potatoes.  
  10. Cover and cook on power level 5 for 40 to 60 minutes, or until meat and vegetables are fork tender; stir halfway through cooking time.
  11. Remove from microwave oven and stir in fresh parsley.


Slow Cookery

  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat until shimmering.
  2. In small batches, quickly sear the stew meat, and then place in bottom of slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine potato starch, thyme, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.
  4. Stir seasoned potato starch mix into meat, until all pieces are well coated.
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients, except fresh parsley.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley.



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