OK here's the scene. We were supposed to have left over hanger steak from Sunday night but there was one rather large problem - there wasn't any. Oh pishaw...now what?
A review of the freezer, fridge and pantry and a look at the temperature in the house convinced me a stew would be a great idea. You see we don't turn on the furnace and with the temperatures on the low side lately, having the oven on for an extended period to warm up the kitchen seemed like a capital idea. How's that for female logic? The result...a hearty bowl of wholesome deliciousness (is that a word?).
Of course I had to do the "eeny, meany, miney, moe...what kind of meat with this would go". Just in case you've ever wondered, you're not limited to beef when making stew. Chunked up pork butt works wonderfully well or even lamb ...which is what I used because we happen to have a lot of it at the moment, but certainly in this case with the spices included - any kind of stewing meat would work great.
I simply seasoned the meat, coated it in flour and browned it well, before adding onions, garlic, some dried herbs, and mushrooms with a little red wine which was reduced slightly before Campbell's Company joined the party. Hey using good products instead of scratch made is certainly not beneath this home cook, so in went a can each of Golden Mushroom Soup, and French Onion. Finished with baby cut carrots and pearl onions courtesy of Trader Joe's, the pot hit the oven and 2 hours later, dinner was on the table.
Really Good Stew (an original from JBug’s Kitchen)
1-1/2 pounds stewing meat, beef, pork or lamb in 1-1/2 inch chunks
Salt & pepper
Flour for dredging
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 large mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup dry red wine
1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can water - approximately
16 ounce package frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 cup carrots
Fresh thyme & parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 325. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Season meat well with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Brown well in batches without crowding pan – removing browned meat and adding more oil as required. Set aside browned meat. Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until onion is softened. Add mushrooms, thyme and rosemary and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until mushrooms have given up any liquid and liquid has evaporated. Add red wine and cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits from bottom of pot. Cook until wine is slightly reduced, then return meat to pot. Add golden mushroom and French onion soups and stir well to incorporate. Add water to almost cover meat (approximately 1 can). Bring mixture to a boil, add pearl onions and carrots. Cover pot and move to the oven to cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired. Serve with biscuits or mashed potatoes. Makes 6 servings. Download Really Good Stew
Hint - for a lower carb version, eliminate the carrots and be sure to use low fat soups whenever possible. Serve with vegetables rather than biscuits or potatoes.