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Spud in a Stew

New potatoes get in a stew

 Spud in a Stew

Back in March I wrote a post about a spoiled potato that I planted back into the earth. Large vines grew from the spud. Recently those vines started to die. I moved the fabric pot with the plant to a dry spot on the patio. Tonight I needed some potatoes for a beef stew. 

I only dug up half of the soil in the bag. I did not need all of the potatoes and the remaining spuds will store nicely in the dry soil for a while. 

I only needed two pounds of potatoes for the stew. The potatoes I dug up were absolutely perfect. They cleaned up nicely for the stew. 

My grandparents had a root cellar on the farm in Guelph, Ontario. For all of the cousins, it was easy to run up to the sloping roof of the building and access the ancient apple tree, or throw yourself off the side. The roof was tar covered, spongy under our bare feet, the tar between our toes gathering the pine needles until we had to pause to clean our feet with a stick.

For my grandmother, the root cellar was for storing potatoes. The first step with storing potatoes requires a curing period, a process that toughen up the skin, and sugars turn to starch. Then in the root cellar, potatoes can last for months. 

I do not need a root cellar as the production at the TownHouse Garden is limited. We eat them fresh. The garden fresh potatoes are sweeter, and the skin is more delicate than store bought. They were a perfect addition to the stew. Pretty amazing when you consider that all of the potatoes started with a single spoiled spud in March. 


Recipe


Ingredients:
  • Splash of olive oil 
  • 2 pounds stew meat, I like it chunky, but you might want to cut into bite size cubes 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 2 pound fresh potatoes, cut and quartered to small bites. 
  • 4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. I used a combination of fresh garden carrots and store bought mini carrots. 
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3 cups beef broth 
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste 
  • 1 teaspoon garden fresh thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon garden fresh rosemary 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
Directions:
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  • Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Add beef to the skillet and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. 
  • Place beef, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic into a 6-qt slow cooker. 
  • Stir in beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and paprika until well combined
  • Season again with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Cover and cook on high heat for 6 hours. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot and 1/2 cup stew broth. Arrowroot is twice as effective as regular flour. 
  • Stir in arrowroot mixture into the slow cooker. 
  • Cover and cook on high heat for an additional hour, or until thickened. 
  • Ready to Serve, preferable with a thick slab of sourdough bread.


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Townhouse Gardening: Spud in a Stew
Spud in a Stew
New potatoes get in a stew
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