My Super Bowl Stew has become a tradition, so I should share it. With some tech magic too. [Updated again for 2017.]
What happened was, eight years ago Prince played the Superbowl and I made a Stifado for guests, a Greek version of a fairly straightforward beef (or rabbit) stew distinguished by heavy oregano. I got the idea from a fellow-employee’s piece on the late lamented blogs.sun.com.
I later refined the recipe from with ideas from another foodie site, also now vanished, A Spoonful of Sugar (I think), dedicated to stews and suchlike.
Anyhow, this morning two miracles happened; I was poking around the Internet not liking any of the Stifado recipes, when Lauren suggested looking in the Wayback Machine, and there it is: Beef Stifado by Paul Humphreys. (Still out there, Paul?)
The next miracle was when on impulse I hit “print” on my Android — first time I’ve ever done that — it auto-magically found the network printer in the basement and Just Worked. For making a big messy stew, you definitely want to read the recipe off paper not a screen.
OK, here’s Tim’s improved version of Paul’s stew as filtered through several other minds and a handful of Super Bowls
This recipe starts with 2lb (a kg or so) of stewing beef. My butcher cuts them too big, so I have to slice them up a little further. The first step is to brown the meat in a little oil. I mean really brown it, with dark brown scorch marks here and there.
[2017 update] I make the stew in a big old Le Creuset oval enameled iron thing, and I used to brown the meat in there too, which left its floor a blackened hell of baked-on gravy. So this time I did the browning in the nice well-cured cast-iron frying pan instead; much less washing-up!
Then you dump in a couple of fair-sized onions, chopped, doesn’t need to be too fine, sautee them till they’re soft and perfumey.
Toss in a big can of tomatoes. Crushed or sliced or whatever, doesn’t matter much.
Then take all the garlic from wherever you store the garlic, peel and slice and toss in. This needs to be really a lot of garlic.
Also add maybe a quarter of one of those little cans of tomato paste.
Also, the juice of a lemon.
Finally, a tablespoon of sugar, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, and a generous slosh of real red wine. Entertain yourself with the rest. Oh, and some salt.
Mix all this up and sprinkle the top with oregano. Dried oregano not fresh; you want that sharpness of flavor.
Cook it for a long time. I had it in the oven by noon and we ate during the fourth quarter of the ballgame. This will make your house smell great.
About a half-hour before you’re going to eat, stir in a shallot or two per person who’s going to be eating, and give the stew a second sprinkling of oregano. The soft shallots are a real treat in your bowl of stew.
We always serve it with home-made cornbread and a big salad, but I think you could pair lots of other things successfully.
Also, they should have given the ball to Lynch or called a Wilson run around the left. But since everyone on the planet was thinking that too, probably that little pass was piece of offensive innovation. Well, it would have been if it’d worked.