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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

French Canadian Braised Beef

I love finding new but old recipes that still work well. Old recipes are wonderful in that they don't specify brands and we all know that in some cases brand A may vary in taste from brand B not that it is ever much of a concern for me as I tend to use my home canned or home frozen variants. They also tend to use less ingredients specifically less exotic ingredients. If you want frugal recipes for saving a few dollars when cooking look for the older recipes.

French Canadian Braised BeefFrench Canadian Braised Beef

This recipe really starts out a lot like a stew and believe me I'm not exactly sure what makes this recipe French Canadian either. Likely this was a dish that was popular in French Canada at the time this cookbook was published (1965). In the end the sauce was quite thick, creamy in texture and tasty even thicker than a stew. It was rich, creamy and flavourful, definitely comfort food. In my opinion this dish could be adapted rather easily to using a slow cooker (crockpot) or the pressure cooker.

I made a couple of substitutions in the French Canadian Braised Beef recipe. The recipe didn't call for any oil so I added a bit to help with the searing. I substituted Montréal Steak Seasoning for the salt and pepper and I added a splash of Worcestershire sauce to bring a sparkle to the beef. I also exchanged the new potatoes called for in the recipe with cubed potatoes as I'm quite sure my ancestors would have made this type of dish during the winter when new potatoes were not available. In fairness the recipe does call for condensed cream of mushroom soup so I think my ancestors would have used heavy cream and perhaps mushrooms if they had them. I used the condensed cream of mushroom soup. I also changed the cooking method to add the fresh green beans in a few minutes before serving to keep the beans nice and bright.

French Canadian Braised Beef
modified from: French Canadian Braised Beef, Kate Aitken's Canadian Cook Book, 1965. Pp. 192.

2 lb stewing beef
¼ c corn starch
1 tsp Montréal Steak Seasoning
¼ c olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1½ c water
splash of Worcestershire sauce
1 c carrots, diced
1 c green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small potatoes, bite sized pieces
10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup

Place the stew been, corn starch and seasoning in a covered bowl. Shake until meat is well coated. Heat oil in Dutch Oven then add onion and cook until translucent. Add the beef. Sear meat on all sides. Add water and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well. Cover tightly. Reduce heat to simmer and let simmer until meat is tender. Stir in potatoes, carrots, and mushroom soups. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Stir in green beans. Cook until beans are just tender.
Serves 6

12 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

this is so beautiful... I am making a stew soon, so I am saving recipes

Garden Gnome said...

This really was a lovely tasting stew despite it's name. The gravy had a nice depth to it with a texture that was creamier than a normal stew. The best part is it was quite easy to make so will be one I make again. I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Very hearty and comforting winter meal. My husband loves beef stew, i know he'd be over the moon tasting this!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment on my blog!

Jessica Penot said...

Looks Great. I'll save this one and try it! I'm not a very good cook so mine not look as lovely as yours but it is worth a try.

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

I've been looking for a great dutch oven recipe - yay!

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

And I meant to ask, how long did this take to cook, so I know if it's a weekend or possible week night meal...thanks!

Mrs. Mecomber said...

Very nice recipe! I love the cream of mushroom addition... a little too fatty for my liking, but a nice thickener once in a while.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Katherine and thanks for visiting. You're quite welcome. I hope you husband enjoys this easy to make dish.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Dan and thanks for visiting. I think you may be correct on the naming :) This recipe book is a collection of recipes that appeared in The Star Weekly (1910 - 1973) now the Toronto Star. I'd have to check their archives to see if these recipes were submitted by their readers. I suspect so but that isn't indicated. One more thing to check when I get to the library!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Jessica and thanks for visiting. I'll bet yours will look just as yummy!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Chey :) I didn't really time it exactly which I should have but I would say about a half hour to 40 minutes once the dish was on cooking. I'd say the meat is tender in about 20 minutes. Once the meat is tender and you add the rest of the ingredients it is only about 10 minutes until it is ready for serving. HTH and enjoy! Please let me know how you like this stew.

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Mrs Meacomber :)