Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Crock Pot Beef Stew November 4, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 2:46 pm
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Today a friend asked for a recipe for Beef Bourguignon using a crock pot.

This is a slightly altered version of Julia Child’s, the big differences being this doesn’t include bacon and I replaced butter for olive oil.  Sorry Julia.

Beef Stew

2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, full-bodied
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon ketchup
4 cloves smashed garlic
1 large onion, in large chunks
carrots, peeled, in large chunks
4 celery stalks, in large chunks
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 teaspoon of each: thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage
3 bay leaves

*Instead of cooking the whole thing in a large pot, sauté the beef in a pan and deglaze the pan with wine after transferring everything to the crock pot. *

Place flour in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a heavy Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pot and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove beef and toss in flour. Return all meat to pot. Add wine, garlic, broth, ketchup and herbs. Cover; simmer for about 1/2 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low temp for 2 hours or longer.

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Don’t forget the gravy September 16, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:38 pm
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No, not that kind!! I’m talking Ragù Bolognese, the hearty rustic pasta sauce found in Northern Italy.

All regions of Italy have their own version of ‘gravy’, they vary slightly but not by much. I’ll say my Gypsy version uses influences from Bologna to Sicily.

This dish takes a long time to cook, I usually make a large batch and freeze small servings for later.

Ragù Bolognese

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta  parma ham or bacon, roughly chopped
2lbs ground beef or pork (or 1/2 and 1/2)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine (or vermouth) or red wine
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 8oz can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until most of the fat is rendered. Pour off most of the  fat and replace it with olive oil.
Add carrot, celery, onion and saute 4 minutes or until onion is translucent and mixture just begins to brown.  Add wine and garlic and cook another until wine has boiled away and vegetables begin to fry again. You will hear them sizzle when the liquid is gone.
Add the meat and chopped herbs,then cook until the meat has browned. Add tomato sauce and stock and reduce heat to low.
Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours. Add more stock or water to prevent over drying or sticking if necessary. Before serving, stir in the cream and continue simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.