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May 22, 2010 01:56 PM

Is it possible to make a Springy Stew?

I have a pack of stew meat in my freezer that I never got around to using this winter. I hate to see it go to waste, but I also can't see us eating a hearty bowl of stew when it's this warm! Does anyone have any ideas for me? I really wish I had the Kitchenaid meat grinder attachment...

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  1. Ouch! I wanted to suggest my shrimp stew which I think is springy, but wait for a rainy day.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Wait!!!! What's your shrimp stew????? It's never too hot where I live and if it's 1/10 as good as your shrimp, corn, poblano soup, then I need to make it. Please?

      1. re: c oliver

        Coarsely chop 3 poblanos, 2 anaheims or cubanelles, 2 yellow or red sweet peppers, 3 jalapenos, sautee in olive oil until soft. Fold in 4-5 mashed garlic cloves and 2 chopped large vidalias until translucent, covered. Add 2 boiled carrots, sliced in 1 inch lengths and quartered, like firewood. Fold in lots of fresh grated ginger, 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, 1 cup white wine, 6-8 mashed plum tomatoes, one small can sweet corn or 2 ears sauteed fresh corn, 32 oz. vegetable stock or less as desired. Simmer until a slow boil. Fold in 11/2 lbs raw shelled, deveined wild unfarmed shrimp, 1 tablespoon capers with liquid and 6-8 sliced green olives. Simmer /stir 4-5 minutes, serve warm topped with cilantro, chopped radish, and avocado slices.

        1. re: Veggo

          I've read that through a number of times and it just sounds better and better. Thanks,Veg.

          1. re: c oliver

            I forgot to include 3 mashed anchovies, or a 2-3 inch squirt of anchovy paste.

            1. re: c oliver

              The dish only gets salt from the capers /liquid and the anchovies, and may need a little more at the end, but never add salt in the chili / onion phase - it absolutely ruins it, as you probably know from similar beginnings.

          2. re: Veggo

            I had a thought this morning. What about making stock from the shrimp shells like "we" do with your shrimp, corn and poblano soup? This is on my short list. Will probably fix it next weekend when visiting our 85 y.o. friend in Oregon who never met a pepper she didn't like :)

      2. I wouldn't back away from a bowl of stew in the hottest of weather. You could always go heavy on the vegetable (carrots, peas, green beans, and mushrooms) and leave out the potatoes.

        But you aren't limited to stew alone. I have used stew meat in Mexican cooking. I slice it, flour and fry it, and then just add it to a spicy base of something like crushed tomatoes, peppers and chiles, and I let it simmer until tender, and then season it and cook it down. I've also done this with a simple stock, and then mixed the concoction with things like mole, or fresh salsa. Any of these can be mixed with rice and served with tortillas.

        But I eat stew in August. I hope my awakened craving for a bowl, with a hunk of bread that is both crunchy and chewy, hasn't dampened my enthusiam and made my suggestions too lackluster.

        4 Replies
        1. re: onceadaylily

          Amen to everything you said. I usually cook seasonal but if I want a heavy dish & it's 100 degrees outside, I'll just cook it at the coolest part of the day. I have some venison in my freezer that was given to me in the fall. Part of it will be cooked this coming week in a stew.

          1. re: Cherylptw

            I agree with both of you. I think the fact that my apartment is 27 degrees today is just upsetting me. I'll just wait for a cool evening and get on with it. Thanks for the idea of doing it more Mexican (my standard is more of an improvised Irish)! Now I'm excited about my stray pack of meat!

            1. re: perfectofood

              The impoverished Irish are an excellent culinary guide, in my opinion. Many a fine dish has been born in a nearly-bare pantry and a desire for more.

              And I am trying not to make an off-color joke about you being 'excited about your stray pack of meat', as my boyfriend has confirmed this to be inappropriate in this forum.

              1. re: onceadaylily

                Hey, as you say: "many a fine dish has been born" from excitement about a stray pack of meat and nearly-bare pantries.

        2. Do you have a food processor? If you search grinding beef with a food processor you'll get several threads. I did it for the first time recently - about a half pound of refrigerated 3/4"-ish cubes at a time, 6-8 brief pulses. I was using boneless chuck and had excellent results. No bits of sinew or gristle as some posts cmoplained of. Great burgers!
          If your frozen meat is a big piece and you don't want to be saddled with pounds of ground beef which shouldn't be refrozen raw, you can always sautee it, split it up, and use it later when making chili, pasta sauce, etc.

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            Given the current variance in price between ground and stew meats in my area, given the season that is all about the grilled meats, that advice is very welcome. I may bring my food budget under control yet. Thanks. I can't wait to try this.

            1. re: onceadaylily

              Brilliant! Why did I never think of this??? It also provides a solution for my other freezer meat problem - that horribly uneven roast that the grocery store delivered that one time when I was sick this winter. Thanks!

          2. A "springy stew" you say? Yeah... First, sautee about five springs....

            Seriously, if you have a freezer that is good for long term, as in one that isn't opened a lot, then there is absolutely no reason your stew meat won't be good next winter. But you might want to repackage it. I've found the best method is not removing the air from plastic. Plastic is NOT air tight! But do wrap it in a plastic film first, then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. fold the foil so no air will get in. If you do that, it should still be good next winter even if it is in a freezer you open several times a day. Just put it in the very back of the bottom shelf. And then remember it's there next winter! '-)

            1. this may sound like heresy, but i'd make whatever kind you like, with veggies in spring season, and then let it sit over night in the fridge, as if it were leftovers. enjoy it a little below room temperature, or slightly warmed with a toasted piece of crusty bread... nothing quite like chilled leftovers, and the flavors will have melded and concentrated further...