Friday, 6 September 2013

Sunday Night Stew (Ree Drummond)


Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman is my favorite cow girl. I have been following her blog way before I started my own. What led me to Ree was my search for an alternative Buttermilk Sheet Cake recipe. I love Ree's writing style, she has loads of wit and humor. I enjoy reading her posts and I find her very entertaining. Besides her amusing narrative, Ree is an accomplished photographer and I am drawn to the beautiful shots of her food. I also love the step by step instructions which are often accompanied by her funny remarks.


Although much impressed by Ree and admiring her many bakes and dishes, somehow I have never made any attempt to try her recipes until now. I am very pleased that Ree is featured in this month's Cook Like a Star. Finally, I am trying Ree's recipes and I have chosen this Sunday Night Stew as my first attempt.



Ree wrote in jest that you have to cook this stew on a Sunday to be able to call it Sunday Night Stew. She is a funny gal! I cooked this stew last Sunday (in keeping with Ree's condition hah! hah!) in the midst of day 5 of my backache

I love stews and Ree's looked very hearty and delicious, accompanied by her very luxurious mashed potatoes which has cream cheese in it. I skipped the mashed potatoes and decided to add potatoes to the stew instead.


I did not follow Ree's recipe to a tee and improvised just a tad as I went along. I did not salt the beef but only peppered them as I prefer to add my salt at the end of cooking. I also added a sprig of rosemary when sauteing the onions together with some red, green and yellow capsicums as I love the flavors and sweetness that they bring. And in place of turnips, I added potatoes. I did not use beef stock as I find the smell too strong. I simply added water.



It took me 3 hours of stewing. I added the carrots and potatoes after 2 hours and when the stew was ready, the gravy was still runny. I thickened it with cornflour before adding the chopped Italian parsley. The stew looked very good and the color was excellent. 



I tasted a spoonful and wanted to pump my fist in the air and let out a loud "Yeehaw!!!".  But that would have have sent a jolt of pain down my bad back and a loud "Yeeouwch!!!" which is frankly, not very cool. This is by far the best beef stew I have ever cooked. Well, Ree said her stew was marvy and I am proud to say, so was mine! 










Sunday Night Stew
Recipe source : Ree Drummond
(My notes and adaptations in red)

Ingredients :
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter (I omitted)
- 2 pounds beef stew meat (chuck roast cut into chunks)(this is approximately 907 grams and I used about 1 kg)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 whole medium onion, diced (I used 2 big onions, sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6 cloves)
- 4 ounces, weight tomato paste (I used 2 tablespoons)
- 4 cups low sodium beef stock or broth, more if needed for thinning (I used 750ml water)
- Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce (I used 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I omitted)
- 4 whole carrots, peeled and diced (I used 1 big and 1 medium sized carrots)
- 2 whole turnips, peeled and diced (I used 6 chat potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- half a green, red and yellow capsicum, sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tablespoon granulated chicken stock 
- 3 teaspoons of cornflour mixed with some water, to thicken the stew

Method :
1. Salt and pepper stew meat (I peppered only).
2. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add butter (if using) and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes (Turn it as it browns). Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot (I also added the rosemary and sliced capsicums). Cook for two minutes, then add the tomato paste to the pot. Stir it into the onions and let it cook for two more minutes.
4. Pour in the beef stock (or water), add the Worcestershire and sugar. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.
5. After 1.5 to 2 hours, add the diced turnips (or potatoes) and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth until it thins up enough. Feel free to add beef broth as needed. (My stew was not thick, maybe I should have add less water. I thickened with cornflour)
6. When the carrots and turnips (or potatoes) are tender, stir in minced parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (I added chicken stock and pepper). Serve in a bowl of with mashed potatoes, letting the juice run over everything. Sprinkle with extra minced parsley at the end.
(I did not make the mashed potatoes)





I'm linking this post to Cook Like a Star, an event co-hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsBaby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. The featured chef for the month is Ree Drummond.

54 comments:

  1. Love your post! and your stew is AWESOME!!!

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    1. Thank you, Emily! I love this stew a lot.

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  2. Hi Phong Hong, your stew looks fantastic, I think I'll make mine a Saturday afternoon stew haha!

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    1. Thank you, Jasline! Yeah, I guess this stew will have seven names :)

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  3. Wow I love this stew! Would like to take out some bread and dip inside the sauce.

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    1. Thanks, Mich! It would be great with some crusty bread.

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  4. A good stew any day of the week! I like the orangey-red hue of the stew. Look so very tasty!

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    1. Doris, I love the colour too. I did not expect it to be so bright. And it was really tasty!

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  5. Oh my....stew is my comfort food. I grew up eating stew..and I love the colours of your stew....brown, yellow, orange and green....so delicious!!

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    1. Mel, I love stews too and this is the best one by far!

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  6. Nice shots!!!!The stew looks delicious and colourful :)

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    1. Thanks, Esther! The stew was very delicious. Will be cooking it again soon.

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  7. Hahaha, still can make so much of jokes with your backache! How are you feeling now? I don't eat beef, so come to take a look only.

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    1. Hi Jessie, I am feeling better but still on the road to recovery. I must do exercise to strengthen my back.

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  8. Hi Phong Hong,
    Love your pot of comforting stew.
    The bright lovely colour makes it look even more delicious!
    mui

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    1. Thanks, mui mui! It had a beautiful color and tasted just a good.

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  9. Looks good...but it's not Sunday leh? Muahahahahaha!!!!!

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  10. Hi Phong Hong, I'm a non-beef eater but I can imagine that this stew is full of flavours just looking at it. Wondering if it is good to substitute the beef with other meats.

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    1. Kimmy, this stew would probably be good with pork or mutton.

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  11. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.com7 September 2013 at 13:23

    Hi Phong Hong, the colour itself already see me drooling.... So yummy and I know I am not going to waste even the last drop of the gravy. Will definitely clean it up with bread... squeeky clean...!

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    1. Ivy, that's how I felt about the stew. I polished off every drop!

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  12. Yummy! I don't mind having it everyday instead of just sunday if there is someone who would make it for me ;-)

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    1. Hee..hee...It is an easy dish to cook, DIY would not be a problem :)

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  13. Hi PH, your stew looks great! I do enjoy Ree's humour too and her step-by-step photos in her recipe. Thanks for linking this to CLAS.

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    1. Thanks, Yen! I was very pleased with the stew's appearance too :)

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  14. Hi Phong Hong,
    Wow, your stew is looking fantastic! I love the colour and hearty look of the stew. It really spells out DELICIOUS!!
    Hope your back in improving!

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    1. Thank you, Joyce! My back is feeling a whole lot better now :)

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  15. This is great, if i am eating beef, i should try this.

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    1. xing hui, can use pork if you don't eat beef :)

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  16. I'm definitely going to try this stew once the weather cools down...it sounds perfect. I love all your tweaks :)

    PS...hope your back is feeling better!

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    1. Lizzy, thank you! My back is healing very well :)

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  17. Though I don't eat beef, but this stew makes me drooling.

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    1. Cecilia, I agree that this stew looks pretty good!

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  18. Aw, hope this stew made your back feel better!
    I would not restrict myself to making this on sunday. I think I could eat this everyday, this looks great!

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    1. Cathleen, my back feels a whole lot better and this stew was very comforting!

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  19. I wanted to make this stew too. Great post.

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  20. Phong Hong, with the recent cool weather, what better dish to eat than this beef stew? And I say, yours look absolutely delish. I'm famished :)

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    1. Thank you, Grace! You should cook this stew and not miss out on something so yummy!

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  21. Gosh! I love stews & these are wonderfully made. Watch that diet!! Hahaha!

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    1. Hi Shirley, have a small bowl hah! hah!

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  22. I love to slow-cook my meat... I mean not mine... you know what I mean!

    Stew, braise, sous vide... I love them all as slow cooking really breaks down the meat tissue giving a fork-tender texture and the flavour is always amazing! My record to-date is a 72hours beef short ribs! :D

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    1. Alvin, I noted that you are looking very beefy these days and you certainly need to be slow cooked hah! hah! 72 hours beef short ribs must surely be so amazing!

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  23. Hi Phong Hong,

    I'm happy to hear that you like Ree too! I was a little worried at first that she might not be as popular enough like Nigella and nice to know that most of us including Emily and you like her too... phew!

    I like slow cooking and like your stew too!!! - YUM!

    Zoe

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    1. Thanks, Zoe! I think with Ree being featured this month, those who don't already know her will get a chance to get acquainted and not miss out on such an amazing personality!

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  24. One plate of rice sure not enough for this nice stew!

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    1. Sonia, it is very nice with bread too!

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  25. Waa.... this stew is so mouthwatering . I thot it was curry but tak pa , this is good too. I can makan this stew everyday , tambah nasi , boleh ke? :p

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  26. This is very nice. I am definitely making stew again very soon. Thanks for the inspiration Phong Hong!

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  27. Hi Phong Hong, me too, I need extra rice. :)) Look awesome. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

    Regards.

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