I needed a nap after my won ton soup but Dejah's kitchen
had hungry family to feed for supper.
Most of my postings in Egullet have been in the China
and Chinese Cuisine Forum. As mentioned in one of the threads, I am a lo
wah kiu . . . a Chinese immigrant who's been here a long time.
Our family's involvement with food began with my paternal grandfather,
who worked as a cook (on the CPR railroad crew). Later, working as
the cook for the first water commissioner of Winnipeg (Manitoba's capital
city), he saved enough money to buy himself a little hotel and restaurant
in the small village of Newdale. My dad joined him from China when he was
16 years old. They didn't serve any Chinese food at that time . . . just
good hearty prairie fare, translated to mean meat and potatoes!
Newdale was well known by many avid duck hunters . . .
especially our American neighbours to the south. Clark Gable was said to
have been a frequent visitor. During hunting season, Dad always had
a big pot of stew, made with beef short ribs, big chunks of vegetables
and buttermilk biscuits. It remains one of our favorite comfort foods.
So, as requested by my sister, who doesn't do much Canadian
cooking, I spent my afternoon cooking stew, biscuits, and another of my
Dad's signature dishes -- home-made banana cream pie.
For the stew, I used beef short ribs and brisket point.
Stew never seems to taste as good without the fat and the bones. The meat
is seasoned with salt, pepper and flour, then browned in my stew
pot. While the meat waited patiently in a pan, I browned chunks of
onion, celery and carrots in all that gooey stuff on the bottom. The meat
went back into the pot, with enough beef stock (made from leftover roast
beef, au jus, and rib bones) to cover. To this, I threw in bay leaves,
4-peppercorn steak spice, and about 1/4 cup of Italian herb blend. Brought
this to a boil for about half an hour, then transferred everything to my
big trusty old stainless steel roaster. This concoction "stewed" in the
oven at about 300F for acouple hours. About 45 minutes before supper, I
added new potatoes, more carrots and celery. It went back into the oven,
without the cover.