My part of the world remains somewhat chilly (tho nothing like it is usually) and so its a great time to make soups and stews. I had a pot roast on hand and was wondering what to do with it. The last more traditional pot roast I made (whole, cooked in dutch oven for hours) came out less than tender, I was not that happy with that.
This time I decided to break the pot roast down into stew meat to expose all of that connective tissue to the heat and liquid. WOW, it really worked this time. This stew only gets better the next day too.
I used sweet potatoes initially because 1) I was tired of white potatoes and 2) I remember hearing that sweet potatoes are more healthy for you.
I learned one really important thing: sweet potatoes hold up very nicely to a stew. Instead of melting into a nasty odd glutinous mess on the bottom of the pot when you try to reheat it the next day, the sweet potatoes are still delicate tender bundles of flavor.
Beef and Sweet Potato Stew
4-5 pounds of pot roast, cut up into 2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons Paul Prudhommes Poultry Seasoning (you can use other types, up to you)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
All purpose flour, enough to coat all meat cubes
Olive oil, enough to brown off successive batches of the meat cubes
3/4 large white onion, diced small (I tend to use sweet onions, the type with a lower sulpher content)
1 medium packet Goya Sazon Azafran (or saffron if you can)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1.5 inch cubes
Water to cover the stew several inches
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in the pot you will be using to make the stew.
Mix flour, seasoning mix, salt, and pepper.
Dust meat cubes with this flour, shake off excess, brown in small batches in the stew pot. You want the cubes to have room to brown so that they develop a brown crust and dont just steam each other into a nasty gelatinous cube mess. Remove the batch of browned cubes to a plate and brown the next batch.
Once you have browned all the meat cubes add the diced onion to the stew pot, which is on a medium low heat. As the onions sweat and release liquid, scrub the bottom of the pot with your stirring spoon to get the browned meat juices and flour up off the bottom and dissolved in with the onions.
Add the Goya seasoning to the onions and mix well.
Add browned meat back to the stew pot (along with any juices that seeped out while the cubes were sitting on the plates) and mix well.
Add diced sweet potato.
Add room temperature water to cover the stew by several inches and simmer gently for some hours (5 before initial serving).
This tastes excellent the next day. On the first night, place stew in a cold location, skim off the excess fat in the morning, and put on to warm. Do not heat too quickly.
Copyright 2006 Nika for both pictures and recipe