At Hungarian today, I saw this pack of “Cholent Meat” with a big orange sticker on it and just had to see what it was all about. I asked the butcher if it could be cut up to be used for chinese food and was told that it was “only for Cholent.” Ok then. I decided that I was in the mood for stew tonight, not tomorrow morning, so I took my chances with a simple, yet incredible, beef stew.
This is Paula Deen’s recipe, but I am not giving her much of the credit. In all of the reviews, they replaced the water with beef stock – that’s a no brainer – and added more seasonings. I dipped into my pot-o-gold (a.k.a my freezer) and pulled out the leftover “juices” from a roast I made a week or so ago for Shabbat. I made it in the Crockpot and ended up with a ton of liquid, liquid that had retained most of the flavor. I didn’t know what I was going to use it for, but felt better putting it away rather than throwing it away.
I didn’t have garlic or celery, so I left them out…and I added three medium potatoes with the carrots. My package of meat was 3.42 lbs and I just cut it in half and froze the rest. So, a little under 2 lbs that it called for, but that is ok for my waistline. I also didn’t use any fat to brown the beef and it was fine. I will give Paula credit for the cook time. 1 1/2 hours for the beef, seasonings and onions and another 40 minutes with the veggies made the beef “like butta”.
Could I replicate this if I wanted to (or could you?) ? I am sure a really rich stock would do the trick. The recipe did call for paprika, allspice, salt, sugar, pepper and bay leaves – those are some serious spices. If anyone tries it with plain old beef stock, let me know how it turns out. It wasn’t just the taste, but the texture of the beef that made it such a great dish.
Danny and I each had two servings, but the recipe says there are 6 servings. If I had anymore people for dinner (or fed the kids this yummy dinner instead of giving them hotdogs!), I would have doubled the recipe. Danny is the lucky guy who gets to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow – yummy :)
After browning the meat and adding everything else…
after 1 1/2 hours…
the final goodness ;)
it will probably be even better tomorrow ;)