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Balsamic beef stew

I’m SO full right now, because of this:

Ms. Childfree Chic highlighted the recipe on her own blog recently, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before Mark and I were eating it!  The recipe itself is here.  As usual, I made a few modifications.

One thing I really like about this soup a the lack of vegetables that I have to work around.  I actually like carrots, even though I blended them in the lentil & sausage soup.  The only ingredient that gave me pause in this recipe was the onion.  So I blended it!  Problem solved.  And even though I don’t like to see vegetables floating around in my soup, I do like to see herbs floating around, so I added about half a teaspoon each of dried marjoram, basil, and parsley.  I could have added more and it still would have been good.

Mark and I were talking last night about people who think they can’t cook.  I think a lot of people are under the impression they will ruin a recipe if they don’t follow it exactly, but that’s not necessarily true, especially for a soup.  I used a little more beef than the recipe called for.  It also called for three carrots, which I find silly, so I bought a bag of petite carrots, chopped them down to smaller pieces, and used all of them.  I added potato chunks until they seemed about equal with the carrots.  The last thing I did was double the broth so it would cover the ingredients — that was important because of the most substantial modification I made.

I just wasn’t up for all the steps in the recipe, so I reduced it to two: chop the things that need chopping, then dump everything into a crockpot.  I let it cook on low for about 6.5 hours, and the beef was so tender it was falling apart.  You just can’t mess up crockpot cooking.

Actually, you can, and I did once — but I’ll tell you about that another time!

8 comments to Balsamic beef stew

  • Just looking at that photo is making me hungry! I have a combo sweet/white potato stew in the crock pot right now and am going to throw some pork in with it (didn’t want to cook the pork in the crock pot because it turns out too dry sometimes). I can’t wait to see how it turns out – I’m hoping it’s as good as yours looks!
    Traci´s last blog post ..Animal attractions

  • It looks so delicious! And I’m looking forward to how you messed up the crockpot! I agree about people who think they can’t cook. If they can’t, they could find major satisfaction in trying! Get a cookbook like Delia’s ‘How to boil an egg’ and get cracking!

    Also, I notice people get stuck when trying to think of ‘dishes’ to cook. If they can’t name the dish, they won’t cook it. What happened to ‘here’s my protein, let’s get some veg and carbs to go with it’. Hence the frozen potato chips with the frozen schnitzel with ketchup. Yuck.
    Pinch´s last blog post ..In Lieu of Going Bananas

    • Amber

      I remember when I was intimidated by cooking, but I learned a few things here and there and found out that most of what I like to eat is not hard. If it has a lot of steps, though, I’ll probably just go out to eat it!

  • Ha! I use petite baby carrots, too, because I’m just not into buying a bunch of whole carrots and dicing only three or four of them. :-) I also usually substitute a Vidalia onion for the red onion because I find red onion a bit too strong. I’ve found that the long braising period breaks them down almost completely, though, so you aren’t stuck with chunks of onion in the final product; you get the flavor but not big bites of onion in your stew.

    My favorite thing about the recipe has to be the pungent finish with the balsamic vinegar. I love it, and it adds just the right amount of acidity to the dish! Give me a loaf of crusty farm bread, and I’m in heaven.
    Ms. Childfree Chic´s last blog post ..Building a Better Brownie

    • Amber

      You know what, I blew the vinegar thing — I just threw it in there at the start! Reading comprehension not so good. Next time I will do that part correctly!

  • Oh that’s so funny, because I was catching up on my blog readings and saw this recipe over on Ms. Childfree Chic’s page! LOL! I’m actually going to try it tonight because it sounds so delish and easy to make. Which certainly helps when I’m planning out my menu for the week!
    Moiraine´s last blog post ..Lonely Weekends are No Fun

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