hear ye! hear ye!

Announcement time! Two things:

1. I've decided to go the way of Spudsy and do my blogging here.

2. I had a regular feature on my blog called "blog gourmet". It was a tongue-in-cheek label, due to the fact that I'm so not a gourmet chef. When talking with Shakes about blogging solely on here, I asked if she thought this would be a good feature to bring to here. I got the virtual thumbs up!

Now, this isn't going to just be about me--this is now Shaker Gourmet. I want your recipes! The plan, thus far, is to feature one a week. If I get a deluge of recipes, it may go to two. Please just send one recipe per email; include clear instructions and a link to your blog, if you have one. Email me at: fire.of.psyche (at) gmail.com They'll pretty much be posted in the order I get them, as best I can manage that.

To start us off, here is one of my own:

Hearty Fall Stew

* 1 – 1.5 lbs stew meat
* 2 T olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
* 1 1/4 cups hearty red wine
* 1 10.5 oz can double strength beef broth, reserve 1/3 cup
* 4 -5 med sprig fresh rosemary or 3 tsp dried
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 3 bay leaves
* 3 med carrots, sliced
* appx 4 med red potatoes, diced
* 1/2 cup frozen peas

* 2 TB cornstarch & 1/4 cup water

—In a large pot/soup pot over med heat, brown stew meat in olive oil & 1/2 the garlic. Appx 5 minutes.

—After stew meat is browned, add in tomato sauce, wine, broth, rest of garlic, pepper, rosemary (take leaves off sprigs before adding), and bay leaves. Stir. Reduce heat to low/simmer.

—While meat & sauce are simmering, prepare the vegetables (chopping/dicing). Add them to pot along with reserve beef broth. Stir. Cover and let cook at least four hours, until veggies are tender and meat is falling apart. Stir periodically during cooking time.

—A few minutes before serving, mix cornstarch and water thoroughly. Bring stew to boil and add cornstarch mix to thicken, stirring constantly. It should thicken easily and take but a couple minutes. Thicken to desired consistancy.

Serve with warm biscuits and remaining wine.

You can easily adjust the vegetable amount to desired levels but be sure to use red potatoes and not baking potatoes. Baking potatoes will become extremely mushy and put too much starch into the stew while it’s cooking—you’ll get more mush than stew. I leave the skins on the potatoes as well.

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