My Go-To “Clean Out” Stew

In hindsight, this isn’t a very good recipe title, but I was really trying to pay homage to Dorie Greenspan.   Again, let me explain.

We are continuing our freezer and pantry Clean Out.   Today I am using whatever I could find for a beef and veggie stew.   (Again, the dates that things were labeled will remain unknown!)

I found some beautiful beef stew meat and bones that I had bought from our farmer-meat vendor this fall.   I really wanted to do something worthy of them.

I found some frozen corn on the cob, some frozen green beans and carrots, some frozen shredded zucchini, and a bit of pumpkin puree.   I also am using some canned Farmers Market tomatoes that I put up this summer.   These items were all going into the stew.   Mom also brought me some dried kale from her garden when she visited in November.   I would throw some of this in at the end as well.

What was on hand.

The only item I was missing for a good stew was an onion.   I hate to admit it, but I used the dehydrated kind.  (Hey, I am cleaning out my pantry, too,  you know.)

With a little inspiration from a Dorie and  her “Go-To Beef Daube,” I started in.  (Per Dorie, I deglazed the pan with brandy and used a lot more wine than I normally do.)

New title:   My Go-To Stew with What Is On Hand

2 T. bacon fat (leftover from my bacon for my stir-fry)
2 lbs. stew meat with bones
1/4 c. brandy
1/2 bottle of red wine
32 oz. beef stock
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 qt. whole tomatoes with juice
2 sprigs parsley and thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Assorted frozen veggies
Dried kale

Heat bacon fat in a large Dutch oven or soup kettle.  Brown stew meat on each side.  Deglaze pan with brandy and let it boil for about one minute.

Stew meat from our local farmers.

Add wine, stock, garlic, and tomatoes.

I also threw in a dried mild pepper.

Place parsley, thyme and rosemary in a large spice ball (or tie them together into a bouquet garni).  Heat to boiling and then reduce to simmer and cover.   Check after one hour and see how tender the meat is.

My "bouquet garni" on my Dorie's inspirational recipe.

Remove meat (if on bones) to a platter to cool.  Dump in all the veggies and stir.  (I used some corn on the cob—some cut off and some added on the cob, green beans, shredded zucchini, pumpkin puree, and carrots.  

Forgive me, but I also added dehydrated onion.)   Remove meat from bone, shred and return to pot.

Add dried kale.

Let simmer as needed until all veggies are done.   Remove bouquet garni.

This smelled great while simmering.   And, we have gotten many a meal out of it.

Oh, look! I found some saltines in the cupboard.

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