My favorite part of fall is the impulse I get to cook and bake! The thought of baking some bread or putting a pot of stew on the stove to warm up my kitchen is so much more appealing than just turning up the thermostat.
So, one particularly chilly day last week I made Sunday Beef Stew. I followed the recipe exactly, omitting the celery (ick). And it was good... the flavor had a nice zip to it. However, I prefer a beefy beef stew and this recipe has a very strong tomato base. A few days later, shortly before lunch, I stood in front of my open fridge. It's chilly and rainy out... what to make for lunch for the littles and I. I saw the leftover beef stew... sitting in it's plastic container... staring at me... longing to be loved. The wheels started turning. I still had some stew beef left over, and half an onion (I always over buy, but nothing is ever wasted... as you can see). Let's see if I can beef up this stew!
In the bottom of my large stew pot I sauteed the pound of beef in some hot Extra Virgin Olive Oil with half of a White Onion (rough chopped) and about 2T of Minced Garlic. Once browned, I de-glazed the pan with a large splash (very technical terms here) of Red Wine Vinegar. I added some Salt and Pepper, 3 Beef Bullion Cubes, and about 3C of Hot Water. Stirred it for a few, making sure nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan. Once boiling I added 1 can of Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup and about 1C of leftover Beef Gravy (from our Shepard's Pie Dinner, also a few nights ago). Brought it back to a boil and then added the left over Beef Stew. Simmered on low-med heat for about 30 minutes. Lunch was served and yes, please, I'll have another bowl!