Welcome again to Nik’s “Recipe” Corner where we treat recipes more like vague guidelines than hard-and-fast rules. This week: Never-the-Same-Twice Beef Stoup.
Stoup you say? What’s that? It’s that thing you get that should be stew with all the hearty chunks but the liquid just isn’t thick enough. So, stoup. Although, this time I finally did manage to make it stew (the recipe I was loosely following suggested adding a mix of flour and butter during the last 15-20 minutes instead of coating the meat with flour, which seems to be more typical and NEVER works for me).
So, the recipe.
Mostly Every Time Ingredients
- 1 lb. or so of beef–usually I go with those packages of pre-cut “stew” meat, but that wasn’t available, so after consulting the internets for alternative cuts, I opted for a cut of Top Round because it was on the cheaper end (spoiler alert: it worked).
- 1-10oz. can of beef broth
- 1-12 oz. bottle of beer–generally a brown ale or lager is best. I don’t recommend IPA; that didn’t work out so well when I tried it. This time I went with a bottle of hard cider because my other options were IPA or shandy and no. (spoiler alert: good choice)
- 2 tbsp. of tomato paste–because that’s what all the recipes seem to call for so *shrug*
- 2-3 cloves of garlic–diced, I suppose, although mine are a super uneven chop. (spoiler alert: due to the size of my garlic and way it formed, it’s probably closer to 5 cloves, which mmm, garlic).
- salt and pepper to taste–which I never guess right, but better to under salt and add more later than get too salty from the get go
- 3-5 chopped up parsnips and/or carrots–I’m not a carrot fan but love parsnips (IDEK). However, this time, no parsnips were available to order so I got a bag of multi-colored baby carrots because if I’m going to eat carrots I want them not to be all boring ass orange. I used maybe ⅓ to ½ of the bag.
- 2-3 ribs of celery chopped–because it’s not soup without celery. *shrug*
Other Ingredients that May Appear and Did this Time
- 1 rutabaga or turnip chopped—because it’s fall and I wanted root veg. I always forget what a pain these suckers are to cut up.
- 2 yellow potatoes chopped–again, fall and craving fall veg.
- ½ cup or so of barley–because I like beef barley soup elsewhere and figured it was time to add some
What Ingredient You Won’t See
- onion–because while I’ve grown to like onions more over the years, I can’t stand cutting them. My knife skills suck and the whole crying really does as well.
Chop everything up and throw it in the crockpot on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6. Past time’s I’ve browned the meat before hand but didn’t this time. Didn’t seem to make much of a difference. And if you want stew instead of soup, the last 15-20 minutes mix ⅓ cup of flour with 3 tbsp. of melted butter, drop into the crockpot, stir, and turn it up to high for the remaining time (because that’s what this recipe said. Next time, who knows?).
And then you wind up with a nice, hearty beef stew at the end of a rain, cool fall day. If you’re single like me, you then get about seven hearty portions packed up in the freezer for future rainy, cool days. 🙂