Monday, June 23, 2008

Recipe of the Day: Beef Stew with Carrot & Potato

The analogy of comfort food can vary among all tastebuds. Some people like it sweet like rich bread pudding, others prefer spicy like curry and kimchi soup with noodle and sometimes a plain steamed chicken with its natural broth blending in with the fragrant ginger tastes heavenly and comforting in every sense. Perhaps the similarities lies in the fact that all comfort food are mostly the types of dishes that one grew up with, whether lovingly made in one's family kitchen or originated from one's own culture's taste and usage of ingredients.

To me, comfort food means something that I feel so warm and satisfied when I take the first mouthful and leaves my appetite yearning for more till I finish the whole plate and still relish it after it is all gone. The wholesome factor that makes the mouth watering and gulping when seeing it and simultaneously the aroma reminding me of how good it was the last time I had it and now I want to eat it so badly....yup . That sums up the idea of comfort food in my food vocabulary!
Although beef is not my favorite meat, beef stew with its simmered thick gravy filled with potato and carrot is something I fancy. The meat being first pan seared to seal in the juices and then submerged into a big pot covered with spices and condiment sauces and simmered for more than one hour is a very easy cooking method that I don't have to monitor throughout and yet makes the waiting so worth it. As this dish contains potato which is the starch and carb element, the staple rice can be omitted during serving time. I used red potatoes as it cooks faster and gives a nicer color to the dish, together with the bright orange carrot. The meat is tender, completely immersed with the gravy and requiring little chewing before the next piece is savored. The gravy will reduce in amount and thicken throughout the cooking.


2 to 2.5 lbs of chuck roast meat, cut to chunks
6 medium size carrot
3 large red potatoes
4 small shallots , sliced
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 cups of dark soy sauce
1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
5 cups of water

4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt & pepper each
3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

3 tbsp dried oregano

1)Marinate the meat with the marinate ingredients for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
2)Heat a stock pot with cooking oil and pan fry the meat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove.
3)Add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the same pot and fry the garlic and shallots till fragrant.
4)Add in the meat, black pepper and both the dark and light soy sauce. Cover with lid and on medium fire, let simmer for 10 minutes.
5)Add in the water and let simmer further for 1 hour or till meat becomes tender, falling apart.
6)Add in the potato and carrot and continue to simmer for 10 to 12 mins.
7)Serve in bowl with gravy.

Serves: 4 persons

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