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26 November 2012 @ 01:27 am
Meat Extension Monday – 2nd Edition  

Sometimes a good meat dish is not measured by how well it stretches a pound or two of protein but in how it elevates an otherwise inedible cut to a bowl of tender bliss. Greek Stew is one of those magical recipes.




Greek Stew

Feeds: 8 to 10

This recipe was created by one of my parent’s college classmates as an easy dinner solution after a full day out on the slopes. In his youth my father was an avid skier so I can well imagine him dishing a big bowl of this meaty spicy goodness over noodles or rice. Add a green veggie and some crusty bread and you have the prefect thing to brighten up a grey winter day.

COMPONENTS
16 oz pearl onions, fresh or frozen
4 cloves garlic or 1t garlic powder
8oz raw mushrooms or 4oz canned
2 lb stew meat

2T cooking oil
15oz can of tomatoes, whole or diced
1 1/2c red wine
1c H2O

3T AP flour
1t smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1T pickling spices

TOOL SET
One large stock pot with lid
Big spoon

Measuring cup
Can opener
Tongs
Tea ball or cheesecloth and string
Cutting board and knife
Gloves

Crock pot or slow cooker

PROCEDURE

  • Set up crock pot in a space suitable for long term cooking.
  • Pour pearl onions into crock. I use the whole frozen ones, because cleaning the fresh ones is a real pain. No need to defrost; just add directly from freezer.
  • Peel and chop garlic. Then add to the crock.
  • Wash mushrooms, cut into thick slices and set aside.
  • Put on gloves and cut meat into large chunks.
  • Place the pot over medium heat, add oil and once it begins to shimmer; dump in the meat a handful at time and cook until well browned.
  • As each batch of meat is browned, evacuate it to the crock using the tongs. I usually do 4 to 5 batches.
  • While the meat is being browned; open and stir in the tomatoes into the crock. Break up whole tomatoes into smaller chunks by crushing them with your hands.
  • Add wine to crock and stir well.
  • When all the meat is browned and added to the crock; pour in the mushrooms into the stockpot and use them to deglaze all the brown yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • When the mushrooms are lightly browned, pour them into the crock.
  • Return stockpot to burner add a bit more oil, sprinkle in the flour and toast to a blond roux.
  • Add cup of water to pot and stir to form a thick gravy.
  • Stir the gravy paste into crock and put stockpot in the sink.
  • Mix in paprika, salt and pepper to stew.
  • Trap pickling spices in a tea ball or a doubled piece of cheesecloth tied tightly with a string.
  • Float spices in the stew.
  • Set crock for 10 hours, cover and let cook.
  • Before service remove pickling spices.
  • Eat with starch of your choice.

TIPS & VARIATIONS

  • Meat. This recipe was originally designed for venison, works equally well with beef, pork or goat.
  • Mushrooms. I prefer white button mushrooms but almost any kind can be used or if fungus is not your thing feel free to omit.
  • Wine. I prefer merlot but use a red you like. Porter or a similar dark beer will work as well. You can substitute water or broth for the alcohol if desired.
  • To increase the “meatiness” of the soup, consider adding up to a pound of cooked ground meat or sausage.
  • Replace the water with stock or broth.
  • Spice. Pickling spices and paprika make this dish pretty spicy. If you want additional heat add up to a teaspoon of cayenne or serve with hot sauce.
  • Condiments. If desired top stew with sour cream, plain yogurt, Parmesan, chopped onions or cucumber.

Frugally yours-

KC/FP





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