Today is Graham's birthday, and if you divide one's 20s in half, completely erasing "mid", he's officially "pushing 30" and in his "late 20s." It's a little strange, considering he turned 18 shortly after we started dating. A few weeks ago I asked him to decide what he wanted for his birthday dinner. He said he wanted beef stew. While that doesn't scream "Celebration!" to me, I figured it was his birthday and he could have what he wanted.
I didn't want to serve up any old stew. I love all the stews I've made recently, but I wanted to do something special and something terrific for his birthday. So, I looked at a few recipes and made my own. Graham loved it, and we both enjoyed that it was hearty and filling; perfect for a night like tonight.
Graham's Birthday Stew
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cubed
5 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 11-oz. can corn "niblets"
1 15-oz. can baby peas
1 15-oz jar pearl onions
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 tsp. "Better Than Boullion" or demi-glace
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 c. beef broth or stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. safflower oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lightly season stew meat. In batches, if necessary, brown beef. Remove to platter. Drain off fat and oil.
Pour beef stock into pot. Add demi-glace and whisk to combine. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce. Add bay leaf.
Add potatoes and carrots. Mix in oregano, marjoram, and pepper. Mix well. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occassionally.
Add peas, onions, and corn. Mix well, and cook for 10 minutes to warm through. Serve with cornbread or dinner rolls.
- If you want your stew to be a little thicker, add 3 T. potato flakes to thicken it up.
- If you like your stew a little soupier, add another cup of broth or water.
- You can chunk your onion or dice it if you prefer that over the pearl onions. I don't use pearl onions all that often and I felt like this would have been too much like my pot roast if I chunked them, so I went with the pearl onions.