We invited our Princeton colleagues to try their hand at cooking and baking the delicious treats found in Cooking for Crowds: 40th Anniversary Edition by Merry “Corky” White. Here, Deborah Grondahl, Digital Publications Assistant at Princeton University Press, takes on a Beef Ragoût recipe, swapping out flour for a gluten-free friendly alternative. Recipe is below. Bon Appetit!
After reading through the cookbook, Cooking for Crowds–this is the recipe that said “Cook Me”. Maybe it was the peppercorns, maybe it was the orange zest but I needed to make this recipe. One problem—the recipe calls for flour. I have a gluten-free kitchen. What do I do? After reading and re-reading the recipe, the flour is used to coat the meat, so substituting with a different type of flour is easy. I used an all-purpose mix that has potato, garbanzo, tapioca and sorghum flours, but I’m sure you could easily use potato or corn starch. I went with the all-purpose mix because I thought the bean flavor might lend itself to the complex flavors of the dish.
Making this seems straight forward enough—Prep, Sear, Simmer, Eat. The recipe scales easily to accommodate the crowd you are serving. Two, is not a crowd, but I like to make extra for lunch the next day or another diner and the recipe does say its better the next day.
I love using fresh herbs, but often don’t have them on hand. I had planned to make this so I had the thyme. Finely chopped
Half-moons of Onions—sounds so fancy
Orange zest. This is what drew me to this recipe, strips of orange zest.
Okay, so this isn’t a picture of the meat being seared. It’s the after picture with those fancy half-moons of onions.
A pot of promise. The recipe says you can use either beef stock or red wine or both. I used stock, because I didn’t have wine. After you put everything in the pot, the recipe says to cover with additional liquid (not mentioned in the ingredients). Luckily I had additional stock on hand and there was no issue.
Sserved over rice:
After watching me try several recipes for beef stew, my daughter developed this one, which is especially good because of the added orange peel. Use only the orange part: do not use white of peel as it is very bitter when cooked.
|butter||2 tbs||4 tbs||7 tbs||1 c|
|cooking oil||1 tbs||2 tbs||3 tbs||8 tbs|
|stewing beef, preferably chuck,cut into ½ -inch chunks||1½ lbs||3 lbs||6 lbs||12 lbs|
|medium onions, sliced||2||4||7||16|
|all-purpose flour||2 tbs||4 tbs||7 tbs||1 c|
|dry, red wine||1 c||2 c||3½ c||7 c|
|beef stock||1 c||2 c||3½ c||7 c|
|carrots, peeled and roughly chopped||2||4||7||16|
|garlic cloves, finely chopped||1||2||4||7|
|fresh thyme, finely chopped||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbs||1½ tbs|
|dried thyme||½ tsp||1 tsp||1½ tsp||2 tsp|
|tomato paste||1 tbs||2 tbs||3½ tbs||1½6-oz cans|
|2-inch, thin strips of orange peel||2||4||7||12|
|salt||1 tsp||2 tsp||3½ tsp||2 tbs|
Melt the butter and oil together in a large, heavy saucepan. Have a large casserole at hand.
Over medium heat brown the meat, several pieces at a time, and as they are browned, remove them to the casserole. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft over a medium flame.
Add the flour to the beef and toss to cover well, add the browned onions to the beef. Add the wine or stock, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Then add the carrots and the remaining ingredients. Add extra stock, wine, or water to cover all the ingredients.
Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat is soft to the touch or the fork. Do not let it cook too much or the meat will disintegrate. And watch the liquid, so that it doesn’t boil away. Let the ragoût cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Reheat slowly and serve with whipped potatoes, boiled noodles, or rice. Or just crusty French bread and salad.
NOTE: This is 100 percent better the next day, so be sure to make it ahead.
This recipe is taken from:
Cooking for Crowds