Ok, so to counter the last recipe I posted, which coats a piece of chicken in snack crackers and calls it a day, here’s something that’s clearly chock-full of nutrients and takes ages. It’s pretty much the complete opposite of the last dish. I guess it could be even more the opposite if it was the kind of thing that used a lot of pots and pans, but it does require some chopping, and since I am pathological about using one cutting board for everything, I always chop up my veggies first before doing any meat (obviously you can’t do vegetables on a cutting board AFTER you’ve used it for meat), which means I have to put them somewhere until I need them, so I got a couple bowls and a cutting board dirty.
So this is a stew with quinoa in it. This is the first time I’ve cooked with quinoa, but I’ll spare you the unfortunate and slightly insulting thing I see on every other foodblog the first time they post a quinoa recipe, and not give you a little history lesson on the stuff and a pronunciation guide. Come on. You’re reading a foodblog. You know what quinoa is. So did I, but I was still a little nervous about whether it would turn out right, which was not helped by my friend telling me she’d only made it once and it had utterly failed to absorb the liquid, and she’d pretty much given up on it as a result (hi shine!). But I think this turned out right. The quinoa was transparent, which is the goal condition, and puffed out, and gave this interesting roe-like texture. Quinoa: I’m not writing you off!
The recipe comes from At Home with Gina C. and all I really did was halve it, although I also noticed that there was all this water in the ingredients that you never heard about again. I assumed it was for if the liquid looked like it was going to cook off, so I kept adding a bit more as I went along, and wound up using more than was called for. I’m going to go ahead and say you should add a bunch of it right at the outset and then add more as needed. I don’t think this is going to wreck anything. Also, going back to the quinoa topic again, my grocery store was being a total jerk and didn’t have any plain quinoa (or, for that matter, non-enormous onions), so I used a roasted-garlic-flavoured package, and there is no way that can be bad.
Beef and Quinoa Stew
3/4 lb stewing beef, cut into roughly 1″ cubes
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups water, plus more as needed
1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 small onion or 1/2 a medium onion, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
2 smallish carrots, sliced
1/2 cup quinoa – may I recommend roasted garlic flavour
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of cloves
a few sprinkles of flour
In a big soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
Dust the beef chunks with flour.
Pop them into the pot and brown them on all sides.
Add the onions, broth, water, bay leaf, salt, paprika, and cloves, and deglaze if necessary.
Allow to come to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours or maybe a little less if you get impatient and hungry.
Fish out the bay leaf and discard.
Add in the carrots.
Continue simmering another 20 minutes or so.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of the broth.
Stir the quinoa into the pot.
Cook another 15 minutes or until the quinoa is done.
While the quinoa cooks, mix the cornstarch with your 1/4 cup of hot broth until smooth.
When the quinoa is done, stir the cornstarch mixture back into the main pot until it thickens.
Now I just have to decide what to do with the rest of the package of roasted garlic quinoa. I could just eat it, I suppose.