Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Easy Wood Stove Stew

I added this photo
to make sure it is
clear that the pot
needs a lid and the
stew needs to be covered!

I call this a dutch oven,
but my other dutch oven
doesn't have a handle and
it has a wire bale handle for hanging over a fire. I would
Imagine that this dutch oven has another name. 
But it is the same size as the other one, in fact the lids
fit either one. I checked and it is called a
cast iron chicken fryer. 

Here is a wiki page about dutch ovens. My other dutch oven is a modern one with a smooth bottom (like this one) and it has a glass lid. I would rather use the metal lid on the wood stove.
I have used this dutch oven inside the wood stove on some wood coals and put foil over the metal lid and piled coals on top and cooked biscuits. It worked fine. I really should invest in a flat top metal lid or perhaps another dutch oven with a metal flat lid.

                       [12 eggs today!]

Here is the finished stew!

Click on the photos.

The fire in the wood stove
is hot but not blazing. There are
three or four pieces of wood in there.

 These are the             
ingredients that
I used this time.
Sometimes I use garlic. I use olive oil and a little salt for seasoning. Look, can you believe... 12 eggs and there was one hen still setting on a nest when I left. So, maybe 13 eggs? It was raining today so the hens had to stay in their coop and I got all the eggs. No laying eggs in the leaves today.

First thing I do is heat the skillet. Then cut the stew meat into bite size pieces, add some olive oil to the dutch oven, and the stew meat. Don't over heat the pan. I don't want the oil to smoke.

While the meat is doing its thing... not really browning because a lot of meat juices come out in the pan. I salt the meat a little.

I wash the vegetables
and prepare them.

Add seasoning to your taste.

When my girls were little
I would add other
vegetables to the stew

I remember once I added
turnips. I am not a turnip
lover, but they were OK.
You can add whatever
vegetables you like.

After I get everything
cut up and the meat has
changed color I start

first the onions

and then I move the pan
onto the wood stove
and put the spatter
cover over it so 
steam can escape
and it keeps the stove
from getting more messed
up than it already is.

I do stir the meat and onions
as they are cooking every
now and then (as they are
cooking and browning.)

Be sure to click on the
photos so you can get a
better idea of how the
wood stove browns the

Don't go away and leave the stew.

I let the meat and onions
cook until they are browned.

Then I stir in the celery.

Then the carrots...

and then I layer the potatoes on top without mixing them in
with the rest.

Then I pour in 2 cups of water. 
(or broth or other liquid)
And salt the potatoes a little.
And put on the lid and check back in 15 minutes.

The time depends on how hot the stove is. Don't leave the stew and do be sure to keep checking or you can easily end up with burned stew if all the liquid steams away.

Sometimes I do flour the meat and brown it in the pan and then take the meat out and add the onions and brown them. But, it is a matter of taste. I like the way this stew turns out with all the vegetables retaining their flavor and it is easier and faster to prepare the stew this way. And I use way less oil this way! If you add more water you can end up with more of a stew soup. Add whatever you like. Make the stew your own. Enjoy!

While the stew is cooking
I make some rice.

Tomorrow I will show
my stove top rice

I think it works because I lucked out by having a pot and lid that let the rice cook without burning. I got the pot from my family and the lid from a garage sale.  How neat is that!


No comments: