soundtrack for stew

November 23, 2010 § 1 Comment


Yes, these first posts are going to be dominated by food topics. How can it not be? This is the week of Thanksgiving.

The end of the Gustavo Stanaolalla’ soundtrack for Motorcycle Diaries is playing in the background in the living room. ‘De Usuahia A La Quiaca’ is an especially good song.  Tonight during my stew cooking endeavors in the kitchen that album was mixed with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club . Obvious connection, interesting juxtoposition. Thanks to iTunes.

Listening to:

B.R.M.C. - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2000)
The Motorcycle Diaries Soundtrack - Gustavo Santaolalla (2004)
Selmasongs - Björk (2000) 

Here is the recipe for the Beef, Barley, and Butternut Squash Stew….

1-3/4 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter (1-1/2 Tbs. softened)
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium ribs celery, chopped
1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2/3 cup pearl barley
3 dried bay leaves
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/2 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3-1/3 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
3 Tbs. finely chopped walnuts
18 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Season the beef with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and then toss in a large bowl with 2 Tbs. of the flour. Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 5-1/2- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook half of the beef until browned on several sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in the pot. Add the leeks, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. flour and cook for 1 minute.

Whisk in 5 cups of the broth. Stir in the barley, bay leaves, sage, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the beef along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot snugly with foil and then a tight-fitting lid and braise in the oven until the beef is almost tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the squash and the remaining 1 cup broth. Cover with the foil and lid and continue braising until the beef and squash are very tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove and discard the bay leaves from the stew, and then stir in the parsley and half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep hot.

In a small bowl, combine the softened 1-1/2 Tbs. butter with the blue cheese, walnuts, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread the mixture evenly onto the baguette slices. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Position a rack about 8 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Broil the croutons until deep golden-brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the stew with the croutons.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 690; Fat (g): 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 320; Saturated Fat (g): 16; Protein (g): 34; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 54; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 750; Cholesterol (mg): 95; Fiber (g): 9;
From Fine Cooking 107, pp. 73
September 2, 2010

Problems. Uh, I forgot to add the barley, so I added it 20 minutes late and cooked it 20 minutes longer. My variations of the above recipe (same as the version in my magazine) I used 4 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of vegetable broth. And I used about 4 cups of butternut squash, it was the smallest I could find.

A very nice stew with fall flavors, even nutmeg (don’t leave it out!). Not super heavy at all. I didn’t make the  blue cheese croutons this time. All made in the cast iron dutch oven.

p.s. my photo is an early pull of the stew ;)


§ One Response to soundtrack for stew

  • Madelyn says:

    I’m glad you started a blog. I was just realizing yesterday how long it’s been since I made an entry in my blog, which was supposed to chronicle the transition in Bend. Funny thing about transitions: they take time.

    I LOVE that you are including the soundtrack to your cooking adventures. Keep that up. It’s novel and fantastic, especially since your taste in music is as good as your cooking. ;)

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