Clapping On The Down Beat

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New Toy February 4, 2016

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning,Step by step — clappingonthedownbeat @ 8:46 PM

I have beef done two ways- both in a crockpot, but one is done in a browning crockpot.

I recently got a new toy- a browning slow cooker.  What’s different?  This crockpot has an aluminum insert rather than a ceramic insert like most crockpots.  I made pot roast in the browning crockpot and beef stew in the traditional crockpot.

Season the meat on both sides really well with salt and pepper.

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I set the crockpot to “brown” and I was able to get a really nice sear and color on both sides of this chuck roast.  Misconception: browning or searing meat does not lock in juices, it creates a maillard reaction-one of the most important flavor producing reactions in cooking, it develops meat’s flavor.

After it browned I then added red wine and beef stock, about equal amounts, just barely covering the meat.  I set the crockpot on low and let it braise for 10 hours.

I like to roast the vegetables seperatly rather than have them cook and get mushy.

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I cook the onions in a skillet and let them carmelize, soften, sweeten and get color.  I removed the onions and added the mushrooms to cook off the moisture.  On a sheet pan I drizzled some olives oil, added cubed potatoes and carrots and seasoned with salt and pepper.  I roasted them at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

In the ceramic crockpot I added cubed beef and the covered it with red wine and beef stock and I set it on high for 4 hours, then set it to low with the lid off to let some of the liquid evaporate.

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I skim some of the fat off the surface and then I thicken the sauce.  There are many ways to thicken a sauce.  Cornstatch and water make a slurry.  In a small bowl mix water and cornstarch till it is all incorporated, then add it to your soup/stew/sauce.  Otherwise it will clump and clumped cornstarch tastes bad.

Heavy cream will add richness and slightly thicken sauces.

Rues are equal parts cooked fats (oil, butter….) and flour.  Rues are how cheese sauce for mac and cheese starts off and also how I started the pasta fagioli soup.

Beurre manie.

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Beurre manie (French “kneaded butter”) is a dough, equal parts of soft butter and flour, used to thicken soups and sauces.   I like beurre manie for beef stew.

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After the stew is thickened, I add the roasted vegetables and serve.

Beef done two ways.

 

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