Letting Life Lead
Welcome back readers! Today we have another round of cooking without a recipe. For those of you who are new I often throw all sense to the wind and toss stuff into a pot and see what happens. Common features of my cooking include no accurate measurements, vague times, and wild steering towards flavor profiles. I might do weird stuff like pair Korean dukbokkie with Greek tzatziki. There are no guarantees that your results will come out edible. Follow my cooking at your own risk. If you want a recipe to follow you can try this one from Alton Brown, or this one from Ree Drummond or from Deb Perelman (Smitten Kitchen).
What you need:
A hunk of cheap beef on sale that fits into your crockpot
liquid to cover
that one thing you forgot*
First, forget to thaw your hunk of beef that was $3 off the package price and just put it into the crock pot frozen solid. If this was a better planned meal, you could have nicely seared the hunk of beef on the stove to get a nice sear of brown delicousness first. Today was not that day.
Root around your kitchen for a nice big onion, several cloves of garlic (use a lot if you like garlic), carrots, and potatoes. I like my stew vegetables to get fat with the broth and practically fall apart in a stew. If that’s not your thing, cut them up bigger.
Season the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss the veggies in there. I decided to go with a palm of dried thyme and a bay leaf. I didn’t have any broth or stock so I went with water, the last bits of rum from an almost empty bottle (I couldn’t find any beer), and some leftover crushed/crumbled bacon (BONUS!).
Turn on the crock pot and let it cook all day long until the house smells good and the cheap meat falls apart. It doesn’t have a lot of pizzazz, but sometimes you just don’t need anything fancy, right?
Next peer into the pot and wonder why your gravy isn’t thick. Remember that you forgot to add in some flour for this purpose and grumble. Strain the liquid into a pot, heat it on the stove, add a flour slurry and cook until it is the desired thickness you enjoy. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour it back over the meat in the crock pot and revel in your cleverness.
Serve to children who pick out all the meat to eat first and then complain. Eat yours heartily and tell said children, “This is all there is kids. Hungry people aren’t picky. Eat it or not.”
Are you feeling lucky? How do you like your beef stew?
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Willie Gordon Suting | poet | writer | freelancer | bibliophile | crooner | fashionista | Shillong,Meghalaya,Northeast India
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