Post from the Past: Beef Stew over Mashed Sweet Taters

So once again I had to get creative with a kitchen disaster, and the result was phenomenal! I bought a couple of grass-fed beef roasts only to find them tough and gristley. I had been planning to serve them with mashed sweet potatoes, so I rummaged around in the refrigerator and decided a beef stew would work just as well, and topped the potatoes with it.

Emily’s Beef Stew

1/2 shallot, minced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp arrowroot flour (a gluten-free thickener)

1 lb stew beef, preferably grass fed with some fat or bone

1 24-oz can fire-roasted plum tomatoes

1/2 bottle of red wine

4 bay leaves

dash half-and-half

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

1 turnip, peeled and chopped

half a bag of baby carrots

1 carton organic chicken broth

1/2 package mushrooms, sliced

1 head of broccoli, chopped

salt and pepper

Saute shallot and garlic in butter in a large pot on med-low heat for 5 minutes. Add arrowroot flour and stir briefly to make a roux. Add beef and brown on medium-high heat, about 3 minutes, salting and peppering liberally. Add tomatoes, wine, and bay leaves; if you are using fat or bone add at this time. Add half-and-half, just one swirl around the pot, mix, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and drop in parsnip, turnip, and carrots. Simmer for about an hour (or longer, the longer the better), then add chicken broth, broccoli, and mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove fat and bone if used, remove bay leaves, and serve over mashed potatoes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
I like to mix in one or two white or red potatoes as well. Leave the skins on—it’s good fiber, and I don’t trust mashed potatoes that don’t have lumps!

4-5 sweet potatoes

1-2 white potatoes

dash half-and-half

2 Tbsps butter

1/2 shallot, minced and sauteed

Wash and cut the potatoes in half. Boil them in enough water to cover them for 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced by a fork. Mash in a large bowl and add enough half-and-half to thicken without being soupy. Add butter and shallots (use some leftovers set aside from preparing the beef stew) and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste (or add a little beef stew juice) and serve under Emily’s Beef Stew, or as a side dish for any meal.

Mashed Butternut Squash “Potatoes”

I also made some of these inspired by a recipe from Rosebank Farms. Unbelievably delicious, and possibly the easiest way to prepare butternut squash.

1-2 butternut squash, peeled

dash half-and-half

4 Tbsps butter

salt and pepper

1/2 shallot, sauteed

Cut the butternut squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Place cut side up in a glass baking dish with half an inch of water in the bottom. Reserve 2 Tbsps butter and divide the other 2 Tbsps between the squash, placing a pat inside the cup of each and along the stem. Roast in the oven on 350 for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and drain any excess water (you may need to add water partway through the baking process). Mash squash in a large bowl with shallot, half-and-half, and remaining 2 Tbsps butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

11/30/10

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