Saturday, December 1, 2012

I cooked: Simple Beef Stew (Martha Stewart)

For the whole month of December, I will be co-hosting "Cook Like a Star" event with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Jocelyn of Riceball Eats. The "star" for this month will be Martha Stewart.  Ever since I started cooking a wider variety of cuisines for my family, I would often google for "recipes" and Martha Stewart's recipes would always be one of the first to appear. Her recipes are usually very easy to follow but I would suggest that you read the comments under each recipe as her readers will usually leave valuable comments on whether the recipe works or not.


Simple comfort food


I picked a simple beef stew for my first "Cook Like Martha Stewart" posting. Easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious, my kids loved it down to the last drop of gravy. Martha uses beef chuck for this dish - you can use any braising steak for this as the slow cooking in the oven will ensure that you get a tender end result.    I chose to use a Black Angus oyster blade cut which is a very affordable as well as being rich in flavour - it is not suited for steaks but slow cooking will make it melt-in-the-mouth, especially the gelatinous connective tissue that runs through it. It is by far by my favorite braising cut.




I halved the amount from the original recipe which was more than sufficient to feed 3-4 adults. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of water, but I altered it to 1 cup beef stock and 1/2 cup water. From experience, I know that cooking a stew would require a beef stock or else it would be pretty tasteless. It was a good thing that I followed my instinct or else I would have been left with a rather tasteless dinner. The beef stew can be served with either mashed potatoes or rice. You could also cook more, and have any leftovers the following day. It usually tastes better the next day after the flavours have developed.

Overall, I found this to be a great recipe, ideal comfort food for the family. Most importantly, my family enjoyed this dish and my kids were asking for "more" after each mouthful. I look forward to seeing some of your Martha Stewart cooking soon :)




Simple Beef Stew
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Preparation time: 10 - 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb oyster blade steak (approx 700g), cut into 5cm chunks or cut into half (served like steaks)
3 tbsp tomato paste or puree
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 lb medium onions, cut into 1-inch chunks (approx. 220g)
1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (approx. 220g - I used Russet potatoes)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (approx. 220g)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup boiling water
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish


1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, add the beef to quickly sear, until the meat is browned. Do them in two batches - don't crowd the pan during browning because there will be too much steam rushing out and the meat cannot brown properly. Remove from heat and place in a heatproof casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid. (You can brown the meat in the casserole dish directly if you please)

3. Combine tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and flour in the casserole dish with the beef. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaf, stock and water and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cover with lid, and then transfer to oven, and cook for 2 hours until meat is fork-tender. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and then serve with rice or mash potatoes or chunky bread. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.




5. You can also use a slow cooker. Place beef in a 5-quart slow cooker. Distribute tomato paste, vinegar, and flour over beef; season generously with salt and pepper. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, stock and water. Cover slow cooker; cook on high until beef is fork-tender, about 5 hours (or cook on low heat 8 hours).

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I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Martha Stewart" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Jocelyn of Riceball Eats. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Martha Stewart websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of December 2012.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in December 2012 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Jocelyn of Riceball Eats and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:


*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 4 December 2012.

46 comments:

  1. i'll join your kids in asking for more of this too :D

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    Replies
    1. Looks like I'll have to make double the portion next time :D

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  2. YUM! This is indeed a delicious comforting meal . I 'm glad that you've followed your instinct & added beef stock in this stew . Totally agreed that with just water it would be tasteless. Well done & this is making me hungry! :p

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  3. Slurps!!! That looks really good... Drooling!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks and happy birthday to you, Arthur!

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  4. After eating Chinese food for many many days, I started to miss some Western food. Your beef stew looks so delicious! I would still like to eat it with rice, just like you served. :) It's shame I haven't really tried Martha Stewart recipes before. Maybe I should start with this one.

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    Replies
    1. Nami, if you can find the time, I hope to see you join out blog hop too :)

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  5. Hi Yen.. I guess there was no left-over? :)

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  6. Delicious! Just looking at the photos makes my mouth water! XD

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jocelyn, glad that December has finally arrived and we can co-host this together :)

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    2. Yup! And you are doing a wonderful job!

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  7. Though I am not a beef eater..your stew looks very well prepared and the meat looks very tender..beautiful presentation

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  8. Hmm yum yum, I would be a very happy person if I have chance to eat this with a bowl of rice!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, it's really easy to make... you should try it.

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  9. Replies
    1. You can also use slow cooker to make this.. just dump everything in and wait to eat!

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Sonia! Simple, all in one pot meal.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks Mich! Cant wait to see your entries :)

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  12. Lovely looking dish! I hope I could join in this fun looking blog hop...been very busy lately! Hardly cook anything for the last month!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeannie, thanks for dropping by. I do hope to see your entry in this Martha Stewart bloghop :)

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  13. Yumzzzz.. The beef stew look so soft and moist.....*droooooooools*

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  14. Simple comfort food that looks absolutely scrumptious ! Actually , I'm drooling right now ! lol

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    Replies
    1. Anne you must join us in this bloghop OK? ;)

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  15. love those step by step photos

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  16. Yen, I told Zoe that I didn't have time to participate though I've seen some of the recipes from her website b4. I like her pictures of food.

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    Replies
    1. Aww nevermind, I know you'll be enjoying your holidays instead :)

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  17. Hi Yen,

    Totally agree with you that most of Martha Stewart are almost fool proof and very well tested by lots of readers.

    Saw a few of your above commenmts, I do realise that lots of bloggers will be taking a break at this time of the year... No worries about the participation! Most importantly, you and your family, Riceball's family and my family must like our MS cooking or baking :p

    Your beef stew look yummy and best of all, it is not difficult at all to cook!

    Zoe

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    Replies
    1. Hehe Zoe, my kids certainly enjoyed all the MS recipes I made for them :) I have a few to share, hopefully I can find some time to do a few more before the end of the month :)

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  18. gorgeous comfort food... btw.. where do you get your Oyster Blade cut from? I dont really seem to see this cut in the most grocery...

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    Replies
    1. Jenn, you can actually get from Jusco in Midvalley. I bought it there a few times. :)

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  19. Hi Yen,
    Your beef stew looks scrumptious! Though I do not eat beef, these looks so delicious! I guess that it would be great with lamb too!

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  20. Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-15-vetericyn.html



    I hope you can make it!



    Cheers,

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

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  21. This looks absolutely delish! The beef seems to be so tender and juicy! I agree that using beef stock is better than just using water because it adds a bit more flavor. It’s cool that you created a blog of really awesome recipes! It makes me want to try, and make them, all too!

    Liz Peters

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  22. Hi,
    Do you make your own stock? troublesome to make own stock?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vivien, for beef stock I usually just use store-bought or use stock cubes.

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