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When you have kids, the battle between order and chaos at home can take place on many fronts. Ordering Disorder is about ways to fight domestic entropy with organizing tips, tricks, meal ideas and more.
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In the cold winter months there is nothing I like better than a warm hearty stew. Aside from a tropical vacation where cabana boys bring me fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them, that is.
You will need:
1 1/2- 2 lbs of stew beef
8 cups of beef stock
6 med potatoes, peeled and diced
6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 med onion, peeled and quartered
6-8 stalks celery, sliced
can whole tomatoes, with juice
cornstarch or flour
Child working her little fingers to the bone, optional.
But really why not give her photographic evidence to bring to her therapist years from now.
For the tomatoes I like to use the whole tomatoes instead of the diced. The only reason being that I can then easily scoop the whole tomatoes out of the bowls of children who think tomatoes are the anti-christ and will snatch the very souls from their bodies if the tomatoes even so much as float there harmlessly in the bowl.
Likewise for the onions I just peel and quarter so the large onion pieces can be picked out.
I should really call this Deconstruction Stew, a favorite of Jacques Derrida. Don’t you love how I threw this little tidbit of literary criticism in here? I still have no clue what deconstructive literary criticism is all about, but let no one say that it stopped me from writing numerous papers in grad school on the very subject.
Oh wait, but we were talking about making beef stew.
On a plate pour out some cornstarch, or you can use flour if you are glutenly challenged (Yes, I made up that word), season it with some freshly ground pepper and sea salt. See those cute little containers I have? They come with a little grinder as a top, which I love. You are going to dredge the beef in the mixture.
Dredge? What does that mean, woman?
Just drop your beef in there, roll it around, and coat it.
Drop it all into your pot, a crock pot works great too, set the stove to low and let it cook all day long. Occasionally you will want to go and stir it. The delicious smell wafting from it won’t let you forget.
About half an hour before you want to eat, make a mixture of 1/3 cup of cornstarch and and equal amount of cold water. Stir it up and pour into the stew. This will thicken the stew. If it isn’t as thick as you would like, you can do this again.
Do not think you can skip this step and just pour the cornstarch into the pot. It will just become all lumpy.
Salt and pepper to taste before serving. Remember we haven’t added any salt to the broth so you may need to use quite a bit.
Serve with a nice crusty French bread and butter.
If you have a nice cabana boy to bring it to you, even better.
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