Sunday cooking adventures: Is it stew or stir fry? Your choice


This is my first edition of Sunday Cooking Adventures since before the holidays. I’ve been busy for the last month (my husband received a new heart! More details later.), and I’m glad to be back.

This is a quick stew from my favorite source, Cooking Light Magazine. It was quick and easy to make, but the end result didn’t look much like stew to me — seemed more like a stir fry, and that’s how my husband ate it. He poured it over rice (not potatoes as illustrated in the link to the recipe), and he liked it a lot. It was really tasty and I’ll make it again. I might even make it Sunday dinner with wild rice and bread or rolls (made with whole wheat pastry flour, skim milk and low sodium ingredients).

You could also make this on a weeknight if you do a little prep before you head out in the morning or before you go to bed by cutting the onions, carrots and the meat. I know it’s a lot to ask. BELIEVE ME I know. But it’s worth it. The recipe says it comes together in 40 minutes, but I don’t think anyone ever cooks as fast as these magazines, books and online sites say we should be able to. It took me about an hour with no early prep time.

This meal was satisfying and full flavored. I used a strong stout beer, but you could use a lighter one, or you could use additional beef broth (there is already some in the recipe). Know that the stout adds its own considerable, distinct flavor though. Here is the link to the original recipe: Hearty Beef and Stout Stew

Beef stir fry (or stew)


12 ounces boneless beef chuck, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion (I used one large onion)
1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) diagonally cut carrot
6 ounces pre-sliced cremini mushrooms (about 2 cups)
3 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup stout beer
1 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce


1. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add beef to pan, and cook for 3-5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add the remaining teaspoon of oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chopped onion, carrot, mushrooms, and thyme sprigs; sauté for 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beer; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine beef stock and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in beef, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in soy sauce. Discard thyme.

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