Cajun, Beef Stew
Being a relatively cool Sunday, it was a good day for makin' stew. I wanted something a little different than normal, so I came up with the idea of this "Cajun Stew". And it didn't hurt that chuck was on sale.
Just so you know, some people might call this a Teaxa Style Chili. That's because it doesn't have beans, and it a little on the spicy side. I also didn't cook the normal accompaniment of potatoes and carrots in the broth because it's something that I'm not really fond of. These vegetables seem to lose some of their individuality when cooked in the broth.
What I did instead, was to cook them separately, and add them to the bowls.
Browning the meat, and caramelizing the onions, helps to add great flavor and texture to the broth. And, cooking it low and slow, let's the connective tissue within the meat time to break down, and disappear. If you cook this piece of meat at too high a temperature, you'll end up with tough meat, so remember to keep it just under a boil.
- 7 Pounds Beef Chuck
- Vegetable Oil, for frying
- Kosher Salt, as needed
- Ground Black Pepper
- 6 Slices Thick-sliced Bacon, chopped to 1" pieces
- 2 Large Onions, Restaurant Size, Chopped
- 2 Large Pablano Peppers, chopped
- 2 Large Jalapeno Chile Peppers, minced
- 2 Large Carrots, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
- 1/4 Cup Butt Kickin' Blacken, Southwest Blend
- 1 Quart Beef Broth
1. Prepare the meat by cutting into medium sized pieces. I prefer them to be real large, but you could cut them up into 1" or 2" chuncks. Do them in batches and set in a bowl as you take them out.
2. Dust with salt and pepper, then some oil into a large pot, and brown the pieces. Don't overcrowd the pot, ot the meat will steam instead of brown.
3. Do them in batches and set in a bowl as you take them out.
4. While the last of the meat is in the pot, you can add the bacon. When the last of the meat is taken out, turn the heat to medium, and add a little oil if the pot's run out. Cook the bacon over medium heat until they've rendered most of their fat.
5. Chop the onion peppers, and caroots into 1/4" - 1/2" pieces.
6. Add the onions, peppers, and carrots to the pot, leaving the bacon in. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they're soft and mushy.
7. Sprinkle the flour into the pot a little at a time, stirring well to break up any lumps between each additioin. Let this cook over medium low heat, stirring pretty regularly, until this "roux" begins to stick to the bottom of your pot, and it starts to turn a dark brown color. Add the tomato paste and stir until it's well blended.
8. Add The beef broth, Blacken, and the meat along with any accumulated juices to the pot, and stir well. Bring it to a boil, then turn down to real low, and let it simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
Ron's Note: The time it takes to cook is dependant on the size of the pieces of meat, and the temperature you're cooking at. Just take out a small piece of meat and test it.
9. If you like a thicker sauce, you can now thicken it with a cornstarch slurry. Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch into a cup, add enough water to make a mixture a little thicker than heavy whipping cream. Drizzle this into the pot, while stirring. You'll have to bring it back to a boil, in order for the cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Serve immediately over noodles, or boiled potatoes and carrots.
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