As the weather chills down, it’s time to brew up some classic hearty rib sticking comfort food. We’ll begin with beef stew and save chili for another time.
So – let’s get started.
First and most important – if there are any of those delightfully delicate creatures known as females around – throw ’em out of the kitchen! In case it’s skipped your attention, the girl species is way different from us guys – particularly when it comes to feeding habits. We’re not gonna make some wimpy God awful “healthy” conglomeration. Cooking guy stew is serious business and serious food. It’s also pretty easy when it comes to cooking up a cauldron of belly pleasing comfort that’s just as good nuked up over the next few days.
Hit the local grocery store for two to three pounds of stew meat. Feed this to the dog, as “stew meat” is not even up to Alpo standards. (If you really like your dog, you might want to skip this step.)
Instead, buy the leanest meat you can find and trim it yourself.
Get rid of all the fat, gristle, tendons, vessels, and all the other dog food only stuff. (I’m not being girly – I want it to stick to my ribs, not my teeth.) Cube the meat, and add some 98% lean ground beef in about a one to one ratio. (Our one concession to healthy eating.) This gets you the perfect range of sizes. Dump it in a suitable large pot, (maybe borrowed from the local coven,) add a little water to the bottom, and let it brown slowly – stirring as necessary so it doesn’t stick to the cauldron or clump together.
Meanwhile, peel 3 to 4 large (bigger the better) russet baking potatoes. Don’t go for the golden, red, trendy, etc., wimpy size and wimpy taste ones. For one thing they are hell to peel and second they don’t taste as good. After peeling, cube them and dump them in a separate pot of salted water and bring to a boil. They need to get to the “mash potato ready” stage. In other words, soft and a little translucent, but not quite falling apart.
You can do the same thing with carrots, celery, or other veggies to insure they are similarly soft – BUT – who’s gonna be eating this? Rabbits? To hell with carrots, stick to the fundamentals and keep your eye on the ball.
Once the potatoes are drained and the meat has browned, add two cans of beef broth, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Then slowly stir in two packets of beef stew seasoning. I’ve tried my own seasonings, but the mixes do about as well and are consistent batch to batch. Follow the directions on a packet of beef gravy mix, then slowly stir the resulting hot gravy into the pot. Depending on your taste preferences, you can add a half cup of finely chopped onions, a couple of cloves of minced garlic, chopped jalepeños, or dust in some red cayenne pepper to give it a chili like kick. Finally, slowly stir in a packet of Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mash Potatoes as a thickening agent (you can’t have too many potatoes).
Turn the heat down and let this simmer until everything is tender and all the tastes have blended together, stirring to make sure nothing sticks. A crock pot works well. Add a little more water if it gets too dry.
When serving, salt and pepper to taste.
This will feed seventeen females, (it’s sacrilege, but sometimes you have to share with the darlings for purposes of domestic tranquility,) four real guys, one hog, (or me!)
Eat until you hurt.
PS This is a featured dish as Chez Reeves (and forget the French nonsense – it’s pronounced just like it’s spelled – “chĕz.”)