On a hot 90 day, there's nothing better than a bowl of piping hot beef stew. Wait, what?!
I surprised even myself when those words came out of my mouth on a hot June day. Others might turn around a 2lb beef round roast into something that meets the typical summer fare; but for those of us that can't get enough crock pot action in the summer, this is the perfect recipe to sit and sweat like a dirty migrant farmer . With margarita in hand, I browned the entire hunk of beef in my classically seasoned cast iron pan (by classic, I mean my girlfriend won't eat anything that's been cooked in it). It was a good idea at the time; if anything, to seal in the seasoning (sea salt and cracked pepper). After a quick sear on all sides, I cut it down to stew-sized pieces and threw it in the CP with a package of beef stock and assorted vegetables. I went with some carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, lima beans and of course, potatoes. Next time I'd like to switch out the celery with some mild peppers. Tomato wouldn't be bad; even a tomatillo, if I kept with the theme. Don't add more water -- the vegetables are going to sweat worse than you in about 8 hours. If you need liquid, add tequila, it tastes much better.
Next up, a little spice.
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the pan for some quick heat (less than 15 seconds). After throwing that mixture into the CP, I simmered on low for about 7 hours, stirring occasionally -- shots of tequila more frequent. Right before turning it off, I whisked up a quick roux (half cup fat of choice, half cup flour, and a dash of paprika) and stirred it into the stew. I blended up another margarita, cranked up the AC, and sat down to a killer meal.