Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beef Stew with Roasted Zucchini

So, knowing that I would be making something similar in my upcoming cooking class, and knowing that my girl would not actually have the opportunity to taste it, as I'm taking that particular stew to a party, I decided to make this for her with the stewing beef that she told me to buy. It was also made from a vegetable pack that was intended for grilling which I said, "f'you grillgoals!" to and cooked them in a bit of olive oil in a skillet instead. I think the key to the success of this dish is making a really good sauce that will become the body of the dish and was in fact so good that my girl drank it from her bowl, a rare occurrence. Also to cook the meat and the vegetables separately and in the most ideal manner for each and then combine everything at the end. In general, I really like cooking vegetables covered over medium low heat in a skillet, then uncover and cook over medium heat with a bit of olive oil, then remove from heat and season to taste. I also used a pressure cooker to make this recipe, I think it went a long way towards infusing more flavour into the sauce as well as tenderizing the meat tremendously.

A huge success with my girl.


1000ml Organic Chicken Stock
90ml Tomato Paste
1/2 Medium Red Onion (Large Slices)
1 Medium Sized Carrot (Peeled, Large Slice)
1/2 Rib Celery (Large Slices)
2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and Lightly Crushed)
1 Tbsp Bread Flour
Salt, Pepper
Dried Oregano
Olive Oil

1.5kg Sirloin Stewing Beef
1/2 Red Onion (Fine Chopped)
1 Medium Carrot (Peeled, Fine Dice)
1/2 Rib Celery (Fine Dice)
6 Stems Asparagus (Chopped 1.5cm) 
1 Yellow Pepper (Medium Diced)
8 Cherry Tomatoes
Mushrooms (Medium Thickness Slices)
2 Cloves Garlic (Pureed)
Salt, Pepper
Dried Oregano
Olive Oil

800g Zucchini
90ml Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper


1. To make the sauce, over medium heat, add a generous amount of olive oil to a skillet, add vegetables cook for a few minutes, add tomato paste, cook for a few minutes more, add flour, stir until well combined, add stock, reduce heat to medium low, whisk until smooth, continue whisking and increase heat to medium high, whisk until slightly thickened. Strain and reserve liquid, discard vegetables.

2. Pat dry stewing beef, salt generously. Heat skillet on medium high heat with olive oil. Sear meat in single layer batches. Sear carefully on all sides. Deglaze with water between batches, reduce and add to reserved sauce. Discard deglazing liquid if it begins to taste burnt or bitter. Place seared beef in pressure cooker and cook under pressure for 25 minutes, allow to cool, remove lid, carefully remove beef using tongs, reduce cooking liquid by half and reserve.

3. Cook vegetables for stew in clean dry skillet over medium low heat, covered until softened. Remove lid, increase heat to evaporate some liquid, add a bit of olive oil, cook until slightly browned, remove from heat, season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

4. Combine beef, vegetables, and reduced cooking liquid, season to taste.

5. Rub zucchini strips with remaining tomato paste, sprinkle salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake at 400F until softened, then broil at 400F until slightly browned.

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