Week Five: Beef Stew, Potatoes, and Fruit Tart

The penultimate episode has come and gone, and we’re left dealing with the wreckage (both physical and emotional). It was big, loud, fiery, shocking, frustrating, and all together over far too quickly. I was left shocked, my mouth hanging open, as the screen abruptly cut to black and the credits rolled.

Fortunately for me, the dinner leftovers from this week will be the perfect comfort food to carry me safely to the finale, where our collective fate will be decided once and for all.

Without further ado, may I present our menu:

Savory Beef Stew

Lightly Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Fruit Tart

SAVORY BEEF STEW

This stew is a really nice “throw together” meal, and very hard to screw up. It’s a step above slow-cooker, and a nice way to spend a Sunday evening. Plus, it’s even more delicious the second day.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Butter

2-3lbs Stew Meat

1 Medium Onion, diced

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

4oz Tomato Paste

4 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock

4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp Sugar

4 Whole Carrots, peeled and diced

2 Whole Turnips, peeled and diced

2 tbsp Parsley, minced

Pro Tip: I don’t like store bought stew meat. It’s never cut into big enough pieces or from the right cut, in my opinion. So I bought a lovely marbled chuck roast and cut it myself into slightly large 2″ish cubes.

1. Salt and pepper the beef cubes while you heat the olive oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop the butter in and let it melt. Brown the beef in a SINGLE LAYER and turn as it browns, remove and set aside. Do not drain the pot.

2. Add in the onion and cook for two minutes, add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the tomato paste and give it a too stir, cooking for another two minutes.

3. Add the stock, stirring constantly, and dash in your Worcestershire and sugar. Slide the beef (juices and all) back into the pot, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours.

4. Add the carrots and turnips, stir, and cover again. Continue simmering for another half hour.

*If your stew looks a little thin, add a cornstarch/water slurry in the last ten minutes. If your stew looks a little thick, use beef stock to thin it out.*

5. Toss the parsley in the pot in the last two minutes, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot on a bed of your favorite carbs.

LIGHTLY LOADED POTATOES

These luscious mashed potatoes give a classic comfort favorite a swift and creamy kick.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

5lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced

8oz Cream Cheese, softened

1 stick Salted Butter, softened

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

1 tsp Seasoned Salt

Salt and Pepper

1. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

2. With the heat on low, mash the potatoes with a hand masher.

3. Turn the heat off and add in the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

FRUIT TART

This was surprisingly easy to whip together while the stew simmered and the potatoes boiled. And I’m shocked at how fancy the end result is! I felt very professional. The hardest part was slicing the kiwi. Slimy little buggers.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

CRUST:

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

1.5 cups Flour

1.5 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened and sliced

FILLING:

8oz Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

GLAZE:

6oz can Frozen Limeade Concentrate

1 tbsp Cornstarch

1 tbsp Lime Juice

1/4 cup Sugar

MIXED FRUIT:

Strawberries, sliced

Kiwis, peeled and sliced

Raspberries, whole

Blueberries, whole

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2. If you have a food processor, pulse together the crust ingredients until it forms a smooth ball. If you don’t have a food processor, dump the crust ingredients in a large bowl and smash them together with your fingers. You’ll go from big crumbs to breadcrumb-like consistency, and then you’ll magically end up with a ball of pastry dough.

This somehow turned into pastry dough after I smashed it with my hands like Play-Do for a few minutes.

3. Press the dough into a tart pan, patting to keep it level, prick the bottom repeatedly with a fork and bake it for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly golden.

4. While the crust bakes, beat together the filling ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. When the baked crust is cooled completely, spread the filling across the top nearly to edge.

5. Position your cut fruit in an appealing pattern, but keep the raspberries piled in the center.

6. Heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until clear and thick, about three or four minutes. Brush the glaze over the entire tart and refrigerate until just before serving.

We found that the tart didn’t hold up well in the fridge overnight, but we weren’t too upset about the slightly soggy bottom of the last two slices.

FINAL SCORE

STEW: 4.5/5 Ravens – I felt like it needed just a touch of something else to make it perfect, but I couldn’t quite figure it out.

POTATOES: 4/5 Ravens- Like the stew, it needed something more. That something is salt. I definitely needed to add more salt to the mash before serving. I found myself reaching for the salt shaker a few times as we ate.

TART: 4/5 Ravens- This was user error, but my crust was THICC and it made for messy serving and eating, and didn’t refrigerate well overnight. I also am not overly fond of sweet cream cheese fillings (like cheesecakes or tarts haha) but the sour of the lime glaze really help cut the sickly sweet filling and I enjoyed it overall. My guests have given the tart an enthusiastic 5/5 and have asked me to make it again soon. They’re big fans of the sweet cream cheese filling.

2 thoughts on “Week Five: Beef Stew, Potatoes, and Fruit Tart

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