Used to be I'd cook 5 days out of seven, and enjoy it.
I still like to cook, but it has become somewhat of a production, with me eking out my energy and hand-use to have all the ingredients come together at once. Sort of like a crescendo, only it smells good cooking.
This week's project is stew.
I had intended to use some venison from the 2007 season my brother gave us this year, but it, sadly, had become freezer burnt.
So, on to beef.
Oscar brought home some pre-cubed lean beef. Gorgeous stuff.
I put it in marinade last night. (a little red wine, crushed juniper berries, some hot pepper sauce, some Worcestershire sauce, and some garlic)
I have had two zip top bags full of deep brown rich beef broth in the freezer for several monhs now. Out they came today and thawed in the crock pot, while I dried marinade off the beef and then slowly browned it in my cast iron skillet.
In the meantime, I sliced some onions up relatively thinly, then cross cut them into shorter strips. I dosed them with a little olive oil then put them in a flat baking dish in a 250 degree (f) oven to slow cook.
I put the meat in the broth, then used the remainder of the marinade to bring up the fond and scraped the whole shebang in with the broth.
A few hours later, the broth was bubbling, the meat was tender, and I added the partially caramelized onions to the crock pot.
Then I got out a few rutabagas (turnips will also do) and some redskin potatoes, chunked them up and added them to the pot along with a frozen bag of baby carrots.
I'm just about ready to go in and see if the vegetables are cooked. If so, the stew is ready for thickening.
To thicken it, I make a roux out of margarine, flour (oat flour in this case) cook to a medium brown, then make a slurry with a bit of the broth from the crock pot.
After I add that to the pot, and stir a few times in the next half hour, the stew should be done, ready to ladle into serving bowls for the freezer.