I’m still waiting for my oven to be repaired or replaced. I am not pleased with the continued delays. Granted, it has been difficult to coordinate schedules to get it done, but I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one who feels it should be a priority. First, it was going to be taken care of last Thursday. Then it was Friday. Now, it’s looking like Monday – if I’m lucky. I had not idea how much I actually use the oven until it’s suddenly not available and I would really like to have the freedom to use it when I want to.
In the meantime, I’ve made use of the crock pot again and made beef stew today.
As with the pot roast I made recently, I browsed recipes online and decided on the following combination of ingredients. I did not follow one particular recipe to reference. Hopefully my instincts are on target again.
- 2.5 lbs grass-fed beef (round)
- 1 can Rotel
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup coffee, spiced with cinnamon and vanilla
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 lb baby carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- splash of olive oil to brown the meat
The flavors are similar to my pot roast recipe, but the preparation and presentation are different slightly different.
I cut the round steak into rough cubs and browned them on the stove with a little olive, the garlic, and salt and pepper. While the meat browned, I filled the crock pot with the Rotel (diced tomatoes), tomato sauce, wine, coffee, water, cayenne, and beef bouillon. I added the meat to the crock pot when it was ready, and I de-glazed the pan with a tbsp or so of coffee, then added that to the crock pot as well. I set the crock pot on high and left it to do its thing.
After four hours, I added my roughly chopped onion, carrots, and celery and continued to cook it on high for another five hours.
Here’s where things really get interesting. I wanted to try some dumplings, but from scratch and with more paleo/primal friendly ingredients. I found this recipe by PragmaticPaleo and thought I would give it a try. I wanted to start small so I cut the recipe down and I chose to go with the almond flour option. I like both almond flour and coconut flour but just wasn’t sure coconut flavor had a place in my stew.
Almond Flour Dumpling Ingredients
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp unsweetened almond milk
I mixed the ingredients until well-combined. The dough was very dense, not thin and sticky like I’d anticipated. In fact, I added the almond milk as an afterthought to give the mixture a little more moisture.
I made balls that I dropped on the top of my stew.
I kept the temperature on high, replaced the lid on the crock pot, and watched the dumplings until they looked cooked through. This took about 30 minutes.
At long last, I made myself a bowl and enjoyed my dinner. The meat is tender, the flavors are wonderful, and the dumplings are pretty darn good too. 🙂
Most of what we need to know about how to eat we already know, or once did until we allowed the nutrition experts and the advertisers to shake our confidence in common sense, tradition, the testimony of our senses, and the wisdom or our mothers and grandmothers.
~ Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food