Monday, April 9, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Two

We (planned on doing) did a lot this week, so it didn't all fit in the post title.  Well, it did, but it looked stupid.  It looked like this.  A&J Tackle PW: Beef Stew, Shepherd's Pie, Rosemary Rolls, Corn Casserole, and Honey Plum Soy Chicken. (I didn't make it to this either.)

That's a lot for a post title.

This time, I'm going to review each recipe directly under the cut and paste.

-Beef stew-

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 pounds Stew Meat
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
  • 2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • ½ teaspoons Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-½ teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
  • 4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
  • Minced Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.
Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
*UPDATE: The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.
Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve in bowls next to crusty French bread. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired.

Here's what Angela had to say: {She didn't want me to cut and paste, but what she wrote was so cute!!}  I followed the instructions somewhat. My first change was to add mushrooms, bc mushrooms and I have an affair of unmentionable levels. I just sautéed them with the onion and garlic (i use a whole head of elephant garlic). I used a roast i cut up instead of stew meat. When I
 browned the meat I dusted it with flour (a la June's Beef Stroganoff recipe {Angela is referring to my Grandma June's recipe, which my cousin bound in a book for all the grandkids when she passed away a few years ago). Instead of letting it simmer in a pot I put it in a crock pot and cooked it on high for three hours. I used a can of beef consommé and water with a beef bullion cube to avoid wasting beef broth. Everything else in between was just as the recipe called. It turned out very very tasty and chunky.
She also texted me when she made and and said she loved it.

I {boring ole Jennifer} followed the directions exactly.  Except I just now realized I forgot the sugar, and I wasn't sure what new potatoes are, so I had little red ones.  I thought the meat was a little tough and would have been better to simmer for like four hours instead of two.  Or to go in a crockpot all day.  And thirty minutes is NOT enough time to cook carrots.  Just so you know.

I loved it, I thought it was fantastic.  Libby told me beer was the best way to tenderize meat, and I'm thinking she was right.  I will DEFINITELY be adding this recipe to my book, it was amazing.

-Shepherd's Pie-

I can't find it on her websites, so I'll type it up.  It's easy, it's barely an actual recipe.

Shepherd's Pie (p169)
-at least four cups leftover Beef Stew
-mashed potatoes, whatever amount you need to cover the stew (use your favorite recipe)
-minced parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat over to 375
2. Place leftover stew in ovenproof skillet or baking dish.
3. Spoon mashed potatoes all over the surface of the stew, spread flat.
4. Put skillet in over and bake until top is nice and golden brown.
6. Dish it up with a large spoon

Hmm.  I didn't make this.  I was going to!! I had plenty of stew left over.  But, and I truly do NOT believe it was related to the stew, I got a terrible tummy ache the morning after I ate it.  No, I'm not pregnant.  So anyway, when it was time to make the pie...I just couldn't do it.  I froze mine for later, and I WILL make it.

Angela did make it, and she said her sweet babies gobbled it up.  She says when you're spreading the mashed potatoes over the top, RESIST THE URGE TO SMOOSH THEM DOWN.  I know exactly what she means, so hopefully her advice will be heeded.

-Buttered Rosemary Rolls-

  • Frozen, Unbaked, Unrisen Dinner Rolls
  • Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
  • Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
  • Coarse Sea Salt

Preparation Instructions

Spray a small iron skillet with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil). Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving plenty of room for rising. Cover and allow to rise for several hours.
After rising, brush rolls with melted butter.
Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake according to roll package directions (usually 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.
Serve skillet on the table.

I have to admit, I thought this was dumb.  It's way more work than unwrapping a roll of pillsbury biscuits, but it's not homemade enough to brag about.  BUT, I went ahead and did it.

I don't want to describe to you what happened when I bit into my warm, soft, buttery, perfect roll.  It wasn't pretty.  One of my children may or may not have lost the tip of a finger.

Jennifer doesn't share food.

Make these.  Just try it.  It's not that hard, you just need the time to let them rise or whatever.  Don't follow the directions on the bag of dough balls (mine was like "boil a pot of water, put it in the oven, turn the oven on for nine minutes, then turn it off, then stick the rolls in while you stand on your head" so stupid) just do what PW says.

PW would never steer us wrong.

Angela's input, however, isn't so stellar.  She said it was good, nothing amazing, but good.

I feel like she might not want to have babies with carbs like I do.  That makes a difference.

-Corn Casserole with Peppers-

I couldn't find this one on her own website, so I swiped it off the food network.  As always, the title is a link if you want to go to the original source. 

Fresh Corn Casserole with Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos (p222)

2011 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved


  • 8 ears corn (still in the husk)
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into pieces


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the corn from the husks. In a large, deep bowl, slice off the kernels of corn with a sharp knife. Turn the knife to the dull side and scrape the cob all the way down to remove all the bits of kernel and creamy milk inside. (I do this inside the bowl because it goes everywhere if you cut it on a board.)
Add the red bell peppers, jalapenos, heavy cream, milk, salt to taste, a generous amount of pepper and butter and mix it well. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Bake until thoroughly warmed through, 30 to 45 minutes.

I halved the recipe and also used half fat free evaporated milk and half heavy cream (so a quarter cup each).  I also used a yellow pepper instead of red, to hide it from my stupid kids who REFUSE to eat red bells even though they are one of my absolute FAVORITE foods on the planet.  

Mine was total soup.  Totally flavorful, but soup nonetheless.  It didn't look anything like the pictures in her book.  It was really good, and I loved the tang from the jalapenos. But like I said, total soup, we had to scoop it out of the baker with a slotted spoon.  Which hopefully left a lot of points off my plate, but who knows.  I might try it again with half the liquids and butter, but I don't know.  We shall see, I suppose.

Here's what Angela had to say: when I made the corn casserole, I only used 1 cup of evaporated fat free milk. I didn't use fresh corn, I used frozen and thawed it out. I melted the butter, and combined it with half a cup of the milk, 1 cup of the corn and 2 whole jalapenos in the blender and pureed it. i then mixed it with the diced peppers and the rest of the corn and baked accordingly. It came out good, sort of like creamed corn. 

Wow.  I like her way better.  See, that's what this is all about.  She's willing to try new things, and it WORKS, and I'm terrified to stray from the recipe, and I get corn soup.

Angela did do the honey plum chicken, but since I didn't, it's going to have to wait till next week.  That's the breaks dude.

Did any of you cook anything? Is anyone still reading?

1 comment:

  1. A yummy collection of recipes there. I always enjoy a good Shep's Pie. Yes that is a simplistic version, and I have had some which include 4 times those ingredients!  ツ