Earlier this year I wrote about hosting the Clericus at St. Philip’s. These are all the clergy in what is called a Deanery, a grouping of parishes. This month it was once again my turn to host. As the weather is turning a little cool, I thought something warm, comforting, and satisfying should do the trick. I decided to go with a beef stew.
While I was playing host to my fellow clerics today, I was also keeping in mind that tomorrow is confirmation class here at St. Philip’s.(here’s a good, short description of confirmation) When I decided to offer the classes, I wanted to include a meal as a part of the experience. With that in mind I thought it would be best to cook enough food to get me through both meals.
While I don’t have any vegetarians in my class, I do have some who don’t eat pork, that’s how I ended up with a beef stew. While I was gathering ingredients to put into the stew I was thinking of what would add good liquid and flavour at the same time. I decided to go with tomatoes, and then I added piles of chunky vegetables.
Beef Stew Recipe: (12-16 servings)
Inside Round Beef Roast – Mine was 2.5 kgs, but you could go with 2 kgs and still give your diners plenty of beef each. What I like about the roast rather than the stew beef, is that the roast had a little more fat, to held make it tasty and tender. I cut it up into fairly large chunks, but with random shapes and sizes.
2-796ml cans of Diced Tomatoes
1-796ml can of Crushed Tomatoes
2lbs yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
1 Largish Sweet Potato (All the vegetables are chunked)
2 Green Peppers (you can substitute other colours, but since there was plenty of colour from the Sweet Potato, Tomato, etc. I stuck with the cheap green peppers).
6 Celery Stalks
4 Carrots (There was one regular and a few mini carrots in the church kitchen, so I just threw in what I had).
2lbs Baby Potatoes (I bought them by the Kg, because the pre-bagged were much more expensive).
Salt and Pepper to taste
Beef Stew Preparation:
The first thing I did was take the roast and chunk it up. I decided that I would marinate it overnight. To do that, I put it in a large bowl. I I chopped the four cloves of garlic up fine. Then I added one small onion chopped fairly fine. I added one can of the diced tomatoes and the can of crushed tomatoes. I added about a third of a can of water to make sure I had gotten all of the crushed tomatoes out of the can.
I covered this with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge over night. The next morning I transfered the marinated beef to a large roaster. chopped up all the vegetables. I put this in the oven while I was chopping the vegetables. When I was ready, I took the meat out, and added the vegetables. I poured the remaining can of tomatoes over the mixture, mixed it all in and then put it back in the oven
I was using the small oven in the upstairs kitchen, so an hour in I realized it wouldn’t cook in time at the the lower temperature I had started at. I pulled the stew out. I used some of the juices that it was producing to blend in the Gravee mix. I had started it out at 350 but had to put it back in at 425 to make sure it was ready on time. My personal preference would be about 4.5 hours at 250, but I didn’t have the time.
When it came time to serve, I served it up with some brown Jasmine rice, a loaf of flax bread from Le Croissant, and a bagged kale salad. On a side note, I have the Gravee mix to use, because one day, desperate for some thickener, I stopped in at my neighbours at Cocoabeans, and the owner didn’t have on in stock, but she had a sales sample of the Gravee which she kindly gifted me. It’s wonderful having good, helpful neighbours.