What do you make that’s considered “comfort food” by your family? For me growing up it was a nice pig tail soup for Saturday lunch, thick with dumplings, ground provisions and split peas. I think our girls would say “beef with sauce (their way of saying gravy) and mashed potatoes” if I were to ask them the same question. Pretty similar to a North American style stew, but without all the vegetables, is how I could best describe this dish.
The result is a dish packed with tender pieces of beef since it’s cooked for a long time and a rich gravy that helps you appreciate boring mashed potatoes like you never thought possible.
* Disclaimer. This is NOT the traditional “stew beef” you’d find in Trinidad and Tobago or the other diverse islands that make up the Caribbean. I’ll post that recipe soon enough.
1 lb beef (cubed)
1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
3 cups beef stock
1 large carrot (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
3 sprigs thyme (include stems)
3 cloves garlic
salt to taste (normally the beef stock I use adds enough salt to the dish)
pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
Let’s prepare the ingredients…
– peel and slice the carrot and onion
– peel and crush the garlic
– if you can’t find already packaged stewing beef in your grocery store, get any cheap piece of beef and cube into 1 inch pieces.
– 1/4 cup of cream (I usually use half and half)
In a deep saucepan add the oil and place over high heat. As soon a the oil heats up add the pieces of beef to brown. Keep moving around so every side gets in contact with the bottom of the pan and browns evenly.
This step can take about 10 minutes, depending on the type of pan you use and how high your heat is set. The next step is to add the sliced onions, garlic, carrots, pepper flakes and black pepper.
Turn the heat down a little and let cook for a couple minutes. Then add the thyme, bay leaf and beef stock. Try to ensure that you have enough liquid to cover everything in the pot. Now bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let cook for about 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender.
After everything’s been simmering for about 1.5 hours you should have a thickened gravy, now add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Then get ready to serve.
Remove the bayleaf and thyme sprigs and serve with mashed potatoes. Enjoy! remember to taste for salt.
Be sure to leave me your comments or questions.