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December 23rd, 2004

Beef stew, perfect for an AA meeting

Has it been a little while since I told y'all what I made and crammed over the slacked jaw attached to my head?  Since it's been awhile since I've even cooked anything at all, probably so.  I made beef stew, as such:

Beef Stew

2 pounds cubed beef (I buy the shitty "stew" meat, as it doesn't really matter how tough it is -- it'll be partially digested by the cooking)
1 onion, chopped coarsely
10 little nasty cocktail onions
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1.5 inch lengths (so you don't feel emasculated)
5 peeled 'stew potatos' or similar type
2 stalks of celery, diced into 1cm lengths
3 cups flour
1 cup olive oil (not the 'virgin' kind, let it be as slutty as you)
1 cup of mixed spices and herbs, personally I like oregano, tarragon, marjoram, black pepper, celery seed, and mrs. dash
1 tbsp salt
3 bay leaves
1 can chicken broth
.75 cup cooking sherry
1 bottle beer (I prefer something chewy, like Shiner Hefeweisen)




Put the spices and herbs into a bowl with the salt, and dredge the chunks of meat lightly in it, then dredge the meat into the flour (I use a batter box job that does a friggin cherry job of it, but however you batter your meat is up to you and your web browser..)  Heat the oil in a good dutch oven over medium heat and brown the meat chunks on all sides briefly (don't crowd the pan, just do enough to fill about half the area of the bottom at one time) and set them aside.  Put the vegetables into the pan and while stirring every 38 seconds, let them just kind of mellow in there and get all interracial.  Then, turn the heat all the way  up and dump in the broth, beer, bay leaves, and wine, and go ahead and put the meat back in there for shits and giggles.  You should only have the meat from halfway to three-quarters of the way covered with liquid.  Bring the stuff to a boil and then cover it, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours.  Every once in awhile, go scrape the smidge off of the bottom of the dutch oven and swirl it back in, but maybe only a couple of times, so's the steam doesn't get out and bring stray dogs to the door.  After the simmering, you can taste it and fix the seasoning.  You can also dump a second round of fresh vegetables in if it's too strong, but if you do that, you'll need to simmer for another half hour at least.  At the end you should have a hazel-colored stew, which you can thicken by adding a little butter (kneaded), some file, or some cornstarch;  I like it as it stands, though.  So when you're done, eat up.  You can let it sit for a couple of days in the pot in the fridge, and the flavor will actually get a little better (and you can scrape the layer of fat right off the top if you're so vain (you conceited little masochist).