Monday, October 15, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Oh, what a week it's been. So, much going on it's a bit daunting actually. The kids and I have been busy finishing up our zoology study and gearing up for new units starting this week. Plus, I had to make a little unexpected trip to the dentist to have some unpleasant work done. Gosh, I absolutely HATE going to the dentist but, I didn't have a choice so I just went and got it over with. I've also been busy working on a new pattern which a lot of you have been asking for! So, keep a watch for news of that coming in the next week or so. I'm on a roll. Our weekend was really nice. The weather was perfect so we spent sometime working around the house, playing with the kittens,( they are getting so big!)  running errands and having fun together.

 I also cooked up this amazing new recipe last night and I just have to share it with you. It's for an amazing, and I do mean a.m.a.z.i.n.g. beef stew. I was in the mood to cook up some real comfort food and with the cooler temps this sounded de-lish! I have to admit I was a bit nervous when some of the ingredients were slightly odd for a beef stew, like chocolate, but I threw caution to the wind and gave it a try. The other funny thing was the appearance of beer in our house after I returned from a shopping trip to Trader Joes. The kids were Shocked, "Mom, what the heck did you buy beer for?" You see, we next to never have alcohol in the house with the exception of an occasional bottle of wine and that's most always for cooking as well. They were a little skeptical, but the "foodie" inside all of them was anxious to give it a try. I cannot tell you how lucky I am that my kids are such great eaters and always willing to try out new things. So here it is, I found the recipe while poking around Pinterest and it's a keeper! You really must give this one a try!

guiness beef stew

Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew

4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped about 2 cups
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups Guinness Draught
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped (yes, chocolate!)
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1-1/2 lbs baby red potatoes (about 24), scrubbed
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Pat dry the beef cubes with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook half of the beef until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker insert and repeat with an additional 2 tsp oil and the remaining beef.
Add the remaining 2 tsp oil, onions and 1/4 tsp salt to the skillet and cook until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, 1-1/4 cups of the beer, sugar, thyme, chocolate, and bay leaves and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer to the slow cooker insert.
Add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender, about 9-10 hours (or cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, but I have only tried this recipe on low for 10-hrs). Set the slow cooker to high. Whisk the flour and remaining 1/4 cup beer until smooth, then stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Cook, covered, until the sauce thickens about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Thanks to Blissfully Delicious for the amazing recipe and the photo.


Laurie said...

The stew looks good!

Sorry to hear about the dentist. My trip was to the emergency room to have my appendix removed a couple of weeks ago.

Looking forward to your new pattern.

Kirstin said...

I thought chocolate would be weird too.... but it gives the dish a smoothness and a rich texture. I will send off the recipe for Cincinnati Chili... it also has chocolate in it. Yum!


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