Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beef Stew with Collard Greens

So we'll just continue on with this really intense winter. As a friend of mine posted on Facebook, she had thought whew! January is done, but "Well played February, well played." We had our 11th snow cancellation today. Tomorrow we are on a 2 hour delay. The county I teach in is on a level 2 snow emergency though. That pretty much means that unless the roads get a lot better it's gonna be day 12 tomorrow. 

Big tender pieces of beef, tender carrots, and delicious collard greens!
Fortunately, I now own a pair of snow boots. I ordered those at Christmas. And then I got some birthday money and ordered a pair of snow pants. And today the Princess and I frolicked in the snow after she woke from her nap and I finished snow blowing our enormous driveway. (Our driveway isn't enormous like long, it's enormous like a parking lot.) We had a BLAST!

Here's the interesting thing about parenting. At the same time as I'm experiencing pure joy, I could also be experiencing some pure frustrations. Today, the Princess was as cute as could be. See? Isn't she darling peeking out from behind the tree? Who can resist her? 
She told me to stay where I was because she was peeking!
And yet. She is full of bodily fluids and they all happen to come out on me. On snow days like today when I don't manage to get up before her and her nap time lasts only as long as the snow blowing, I don't get to shower and I get the vague feeling I smell like poo. Or throw up.

This morning, after a difficult start, the Princess sat in her high chair in the kitchen coloring pictures for Grandma Peggy while I whipped together this stew for the crock pot. I should probably say I started with a tasty looking stew that I found on Pinterest by Betty Crocker. But it's been very snowy. And I did not have any beef bullion granules. (really who does?) And I wanted to serve it over rice because my mother-in-law says that rice helps to stop up a baby with a digestive system on overdrive. So I left out the potatoes. And my mom always put celery in her chili and putting celery in stew made me think of her so I doubled it. And then I got a little fancy with the deglazing the pan with red wine. (But that might have been because at that particular point in the morning I was wondering how stay at home mother's don't crack open the wine before lunch. The length of time I deglazed was about equal to checking the Princess for a fever, picking up the crayons that were thrown on the floor, wiping applesauce off the floor, the counter, and the Princess, and then giving in and parking the Princess in front of Daniel Tiger. But that doesn't sound all nice and recipe like. So until it is reduced by half.) And then I had some collard greens in the fridge and I thought that they wouldn't turn to gross mush when sitting in a crock pot forever and they might be a tasty addition. And yeah I don't have any quick cooking tapioca. I bought some about 5 years ago for a mushroom pork chop crock pot meal and I haven't cooked it in forever and I haven't used the tapioca since. So I threw it away. Last week. So I smooshed up some butter and flour to thicken the sauce instead. I will tell you that it turned out great. The Princess loved it. The Brain liked it. It might be the leftovers that won't last long. I just wish it photographed better.

Beef Stew with Collard Greens
an original Shazamer recipe

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine (a cheap, but drinkable variety)
2 stalks celery cut into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 cups V8 (or other non-name brand vegetable juice)
2 big handfuls of chopped up collard greens
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour

Pat the beef stew meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium high heat.  Working in 2 batches brown the meat on all sides. Put the meat in the slow cooker. Pour the half cup of red wine into the fry pan and scrape up the crusty bits in the pan. Simmer for a while until the red wine is reduced by about half. Pour it into the slow cooker. Add the celery, onion, Worcestershire, V8, and collard greens to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Smoosh together the butter and flour, then stir into the slow cooker until it dissolves. Continue to cook for another half hour then eat. Serve over rice.