Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Keeper of a Beef Stew Recipe & Rosemary Popovers

Saw a segment the other morning on the CBS Early Show on easy holiday entertaining, and a couple of the recipes were for beef stew in the electric pressure cooker and rosemary popovers. Torie Richie is one of my favorite TV chefs; a real no-fuss kind of cook, easy recipes that don't require a degree, although she and I did go to the same culinary academy in San Francisco, although in different classes.

Here are her recipes, with my changes noted. This was extremely easy with a high flavor payback for the effort. The popovers also were easy; no resting period as called for in most recipes. Just mix it up, fill the buttered popover cups and bake, starting from a cold oven. Very much worth the little effort.


3 lb. boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (started w/ chuck roast, trimmed it and cut into large chunks.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. olive oil **
1 1/2 cups red wine (used leftover two-buck Chuck)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
bay leaves
pinch red pepper flakes

**browned diced slab of pancetta in a bit of xvoo. Removed dice and proceeded with recipe.

In a large bowl, toss the beef with the flour, salt and pepper to coat evenly. Set an electric pressure cooker to "brown" according to the manufacturer's instructions and warm the olive oil. Add half the beef and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef and transfer to the bowl.

Add the beef, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomato paste, stock and thyme and stir to combine. Add the wine to the pressure cooker and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. (*** see notes below for change in procedure)

Cover and cook on "high" for 30 minutes according to the manufacturer's instructions. Release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the liquid is too thin, transfer the beef and vegetables to a serving bowl, set the pressure cooker to "brown" and cook until the liquid is reduced to the desired consistency. Pour the liquid over the beef and vegetables and serve immediately.
(thickened with a butter - Wondra mixture, aka beurre manie, and added it in bits to the hot liquid and simmered until thickened the way I wanted)

*** Added veggies back to pot. Spread with tomato paste and cooked a minute. Sprinkled w/ leftover seasoned flour and cooked another minute. Then added the wine and BTAB, and proceeded with recipe.

Serves 6. Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.


2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs. very finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 Tbs. very finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Butter a popover pan or the wells of a 12-well muffin pan. In a bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and salt. Stir in the milk and butter. In another bowl, stir together the flour, rosemary and parsley. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until just blended. Do not overbeat. Fill each cup about half full and place the pan in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 425ºF and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375ºF and bake until the popovers are golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. They should be crisp on the outside. Quickly pierce each popover with the tip of a small knife to release the steam. Return to the oven for 2 minutes for further crisping, then remove and serve immediately.

Makes 12 popovers. (actually, as made this only made 6 standard-size popovers)

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