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    Monday, May 25, 2015

    The Best Stew - Cajun Style

    Here's a tasty stew.

    Being a “clever” shopper!!! I noticed that there was an amazing  special at the supermarket... about 12 mixed coloured peppers, for only $3.99. That is really cheap at this time of the year
    Also there was beef on special, close to use by date, but that's fine, planning to use it straight away.
    Plus I found an organic chicken cheap as chips,  sectioned that and straight into the freezer.

    Peppers are very much part of Cajun cooking,
    They form part of The Trinity,  Onion, Peppers and Celery
    The main base of Gumbo, Jambalaya Or anything your Cajun heart desires.

    Perfect, so I found some Cajun seasoning in my pantry and started work on this very tasty stew
    Which we ate with mashed potatoes
    The rest of the peppers, I roasted, marinated them in olive oil, and they are in my fridge
    They will last for ages

    There was some Pinot Noir remaining in a bottle
    Good, wine such a good addition to any meat dish


    500 gms Beef chopped into 1 inch pieces
    2-3 tablespoons flour, seasoned with sat and freshly ground black pepper
    2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 x onion roughly chopped
    3 Capsicums seeds removed and chopped
    2 sticks celery
    2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
    Slosh of wine
    1 can Chopped Tomatoes
    Water to cover

    Toss the chopped beef into the seasoned flour
    Heat the olive oil in a pan till it its hot
    Add the beef and brown the pieces
    Place in an ovenproof dish
    Add the onions to the pan and they will pick up the nice crispy bits
    Cook till soft but not browned
    Add the capsicum and celery
    Continue to cook until they are soft as well
    Add the Cajun seasoning
    Keep cooking for about 5 minutes to cook the spices out
    Add the wine. this will help to deglaze the pan
    Add the tomatoes
    Stir well and then pour over the meat in the dish

    Rinse out the pan with some hot water, so that all the lovely flavours are not lost
    Add to the meat
    Make sure that everything is just covered
    You may need to add some more water

    Bake in 170C oven for about 2 hours
    The meat should be tender and the sauce thickened

    I served with mashed potatoes
    Perfect for a Winter Night

    Of course There was too much for two people and there were left overs
    The mashed potatoes were turned into fish cakes
    And the stew into a lasagne
    Which was layered with Bechamel and some of the roasted peppers

    You could use some of those peppers in the jar, bought from the Supermarket
    Up to you the amount you use

    So, first, I made a béchamel sauce
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoon flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup milk
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

    Melt the butter in a small pot
    Add the flour to make a roux
    Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour
    Season with salt and pepper
    Infuse the milk with the bay leaf
    I just pop it into the microwave for about1 1/2 minutes to heat it

    Pour the hot milk onto the roux
    Stir, till it is smooth
    Let it simmer away for about 3-5 minutes
    Add the cheese and set aside
    Drain the oil off the peppers
    Open a packet of lasagne sheets
    I like to use these Barilla Sheets, no need to pre-cook

    So to assemble the lasagne
    A spoonful of béchamel
    Lasagne sheets
    The stew

    Roasted peppers

    Lasagne and top with the remaining Béchamel

    Cover with oiled foil
    Cook in a 180C oven for 30 minutes
    Take the foil off and finish off for another 15 minutes

    The top should be golden and the sauce bubbling
    The aroma. so inviting

    What a really tasty dish. Just like a bought one


    Katie Zeller said...

    My kind of cooking - great stew and great use of leftovers!

    Gilli Wrightson said...

    Katie I just can't throw food away if I think I can do something with it. Hate to waste but also makes sense economically