NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 20, 2013

1 beef stew, 3 themes

Learn a basic formula, then change up the flavor

(Continued)

Package and label properly; store at zero degrees or below for two to three months.

Don’t freeze potatoes; they don’t hold well.

Defrost in the refrigerator. Add varied ingredients during reheating.

Change up side dishes (pasta, polenta, potatoes, crusty bread) to enjoy the sauce or gravy.

BEEF STEW

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

This recipe adapted from Clifford A. Wright’s “One-Pot Wonders” may be doubled or tripled easily. We’ve doubled the recipe here to facilitate freezing a batch for another meal.

3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons unsalted butter or beef suet

2 medium onions, chopped

4 cups cold water

Dredge beef in the flour; season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy flameproof baking casserole or stew pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the meat, in batches if necessary; brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Add onion; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of the pot until softened, about 4 minutes.

Pour in water to barely cover; reduce heat to low. Stir a bit then simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Check for seasoning. Finish with one of the variations below; or freeze half and cook the other half.

Freeze: Divide the finished stew in half. Cook one half following a variation below. Spoon remaining half into a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1-inch headroom. Cool then cover, label and store in freezer up to 3 months.

Cook: Remove half recipe of stew from freezer. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place thawed stew in a heavy stew pot; heat to a simmer on low heat. Proceed with a variation from below or create your own.

VARIATIONS

American style, based on Wright’s basic beef stew: Add 1 pound potatoes (red, white, Yukon gold), peeled cubed; 1 1/2 carrots, scraped, diced; 1 large parsnip, scraped, diced; 1 medium turnip, peeled, diced. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until everything is very tender, about 1 hour.

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