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Beef and Ale Stew Cook Along Week 2
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I had planned to post some recipes and introduce the first cookbook I am going to review but my household has been sick. I hope to get back on track this week.

Last week was week 2 of Plan to Eat Cook along challenge. I am finding that doing this challenge is making cooking more fun. I like seeing what others have to say about the recipes etc. So what did I attempt to cook last week? I tried Jamie’s Beef & Ale Stew pg. 180. In the book there is what is called a basic stew recipe and then 4 different versions to try. One is beef another is chicken, pork or lamb. I went with the beef because I knew it would be the most well received by my family. For the Ale I used Fosters. I noticed right away it was very soupy. I figured since it was going to simmer for 3 plus hours it would melt down and become more of a stew. The last 30 minutes of cooking on the stove top which I did you need to remove the lid. Even after doing that it was still just not getting thick.

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I ran out of time to let it keeping cooking so I had to get to the topping. Topping for a stew you say? I know I thought the same thing but he gives you again four different topping choices. A pastry shell topping, dumplings, mashed potatoes and potato wedges. I had planned to use the dumplings but I had made mashed potatoes that I made the night before so I thought I would try those………

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Yeah that did not work so well. It turned the stew into a mushy mess. I believe the problem was my mash potatoes have sour cream and cream cheese in them. I did not even think about that when I used them. Plus the stew(well more of a soup) was not thick enough. I was disappointed but the flavor was actually pretty good and I hope to try this again but change a few things. Instead of diced tomatoes I will use crushed tomatoes and I might cook it in the oven instead. Also if I can’t get it thick enough I will add cornstarch which I should have done but again I ran out of time and I wanted to try and follow the recipe as close as possible.  For the topping I would either try one of the other choices or make his recipe for the mashed potatoes.

Over all it did not turn out the best but I was happy with the flavor and think it has potential to be really good.

A little more about the cookbook. I love the pictures. Take the recipe I tried above.

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Four wonderful pictures and pretty much every recipe has pictures of him making it. I am not a fan of the way he lays out his recipes I like a nice list so I know I am not forgetting anything and having it in paragraph form is a little hard but I can just add the recipe to my plan to eat recipe box and I can use that.

What to join in on the challenge? Here is week 3 meal plan. Happy cooking!

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