It's been a stressful night. For some reason a few of my friends have been encountering some technical difficulties with their iPhones. All the contact information just disappeared out of nowhere. Well, it's my turn now, and on top of contacts, all of my pictures (mostly food pictures) are gone! Oh these yummy food memories..
Definitely not fun spending my Sunday evening trying to figure out how to restore everything back to where it supposed to be. After several rounds of updating, reloading, and re-entering numerous data, my phone is finally..or more like semi up and running like it used to be. Now it's just the matter of how to get my frustrations and irritated mood out. Not so surprised for a food lover, writing recipes actually calmed me down slightly. Just enough to suppress the urge of throwing my phone out of the window.
No fuss onion and black pepper beef stew -
1 lb of large beef cubes (you can just use whichever parts you like the most)
2 large onions
Some beef stock
Some soy sauce
Some olive oil
Some sea salt
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add in the beef cubes. Bring to a boil again and cook for just a little bit longer in order to draw out the dirty brownish bits floating on top. Make sure not over-cooking the meat. One done, drain well and set aside for later use.
Peel and slice the onions into thick strips, toss them into a pot (I chose a large iron cast pot because it preserves the heat well). Drizzle just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot and turn to medium heat. Sprinkle couple pinches of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. To give you a better idea, I grind the peppercorns at least 50 times for this recipe. Yes, you heard me right, minimum 50 grinds.
Give the onion a quick stir and cook till slightly browned on the edges. Add in drained beef cubes and sear for couple minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture once a while. Pour in room temperature beef stock till just cover the top of the ingredients. Gently scrape the brown bits sticking on the bottom of the pan, they adds tremendous amount of flavor to the stew.
Pour in just enough soy sauce to flavor the stew. Taste it and adjust with your own preference. The entire stock is going to be reduced till only little juice left. Therefore, try not over-season with soy sauce. As the stock keeps reducing, the flavor will get more condensed and the same for saltiness level.
Bring to a boil and skim away the dirty brownish bits floating above. Turn the heat down and cover with lid. Make sure the stew is bubbling just a wee bit throughout the rest of the cooking time. Keep stewing till the juice has been reduced, took about 4 hours for me.
At least half of the onion will be gone, or melted after such long hours of cooking time, but its sweetness remains in the fork tender beef stew. The pepper provides warmness and a kick to the beef. I prefer to serve it over steamed white rice with some fresh leafy greens on the side.
You can even make the stew in advance and store in the freezer. Just make sure to steam the beef stew instead of heating it up on a stove or with a microwave, otherwise you might end of with charcoal-like beef with textures like chunks of wood.