Spring and fall can be great seasons for boating. The casual boaters are hauled out, it's too cold for PWC-bees, and although wind is colder, it's more consistent.
But, when it rains, it can be downright miserable.
Warm food helps.
Warm food that smells good and tastes better helps a lot.
Warm food that smells good and tastes better with booze in it is always a winner.
In other words, stew.
The problem with stew on board is that it seems like every stew recipe calls for a crock pot, takes all day to cook, serves 30 people with leftovers, or all of the above.
With a little experimentation, we created this recipe which is relatively quick, serves 2 and requires only one burner.
Here we go:
Whiskeyjack Beef Stew
1 pound (454g) beef on sale. The cheapest cut you can find. Stewing beef not necessary. I like to use cheap steak.(cut into 1 to 1½ inch cubes)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sized onion roughly diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp herbs de Provence (or 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, )
1 1/2 cups (.60 L) reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper (or Old Bay) to taste
1 large potato, peeled and roughly cubed into bite sized pieces
1 large carrot, chopped, or a half bag of baby carrots.
1 glass of cheap wine, or 1 bottle of cheap beer
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp soy sauce
In a bowl combine the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Drop in the beef. Let it marinade. Drink a beer, or take this time to slice and chop and peel the veggies. Work slow. You want the marinade to do it's thing for a while.
Remove beef from marinade, pat dry and rub in salt and pepper or Old Bay seasoning. In a medium size pot over medium heat, add olive oil, then drop in beef. When beef is browned, remove from pot and pat dry again.
Add celery, onions, garlic,to pot.
When veggies begin to soften, add beef marinade to pot.
. Return beef cubes to pot and stir in herbs de Provence. Toss in the tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and pepper and booze. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. You want to cook this low and slow, stirring occasionally. Your boat will start to smell GREAT!
When a cube of meat is so tender it can be just about pulled apart with a fork, add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes to half hour, until a potato can be cut with a fork. Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp water until smooth. Add to stew. Stir well and continue to cook until stew is bubbly and has thickened. Stir in peas and cilantro and cook just until peas are heated through, just a couple of minutes.
Serve in bowls, with a basket of biscuits or rough cut baguette for dipping and wiping.