This past pandemic year has been a year like none of us has ever experienced. It has left me battling feelings of isolation and bouts of depression—especially during these past dark winter months. That’s the bad news. Good news is Netflix, and a show I’m obsessed about called, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, by James Beard award winning chef, Samin Nosrat. She takes lofty culinary concepts and breaks them down into easy to understand segments, sprinkled with her genuine joy, passion and laughter. She is my perfect panacea for these troubling times. She’s inspired me to cook a few go-to, easy to freeze one pot dinners that are helping to nourish my soul and belly. Only now with newly elevated, deeply complex layers of flavors. I’m including a few pointers and $$ hacks for you before you begin. Bon Appetite!
$$ Saving Hacks
- Amazon Prime. Wait for beef stew meat to go on sale from $7/pound to $3.99 at Whole Foods. Then, use your Whole Foods app for an additional 10% off
- Buy in Bulk. Make this recipe in bulk, as it freezes great that will save you time and money
- Check out Weekly Ad Sales at local grocers for onions, mushrooms, carrots, broth and potatoes
- Google area grocers to purchase Maldon Sea Salt and Diamond Kosher Salt. Much cheaper than buying on Amazon and expensive shipping fees. Maldon Sea Salt and Diamond Kosher Salt are Chef Samin’s recommended salts of choice. These salts are simply AMAZING!!
- Invest in a good quality whole pepper corns and pepper mill. This is one of her chef quality heat elements that elevates whatever dish you cook
3 pounds of boneless chuck, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
Diamond Kosher Salt
2 medium sized yellow onions, large dice
10 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound of medium sized mushrooms, cut in half (I prefer crimini
1 cup good quality red wine
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. thyme
3 ½ cups water
2 T It’s Better Than Bullion Beef Broth
½ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 T. Diamond Kosher Salt
- In a bowl, liberally salt and pepper the beef and toss to coat well. (This is the salt and heat.) Heat 3 teaspoons of good quality olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot. (This is the fat.) Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; add more oil as needed between batches. (This is the heat.)
- Remove the beef from the pot. Add onions and brown. Next, add mushrooms to brown. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Remove from pot.
- Add the beef, beef broth, wine, tomato paste and thyme. (This is the Acid.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook, skimming broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
- Add the onions mushrooms, and carrots and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add broth or water if the stew is dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes approximately 1 ½ cup servings that you can freeze in individual Tupperware containers for up to 2 months.
Happy Valentine's Day,
Linda LaRue, President - American Fitness Couture