Battle of Spices


Making beef stew using a crock-pot aka slow cooker is really easy. The recipes typically does not need much work – just few cutting and slicing, and dumping all the ingredients into the pot. The challenge is actually – how do you balance the flavor, especially with the lights of strong spices that gives that “kick” to the final product.

Due to the nature of how a stew is made – which is cook in the course of 8-10 hours. It leaves very little room to play in playing patch up job at the end of the process. Most of the spices will need to be thrown into the cooker at the start of the process so that all the meat and vegetables are infused with the flavors. It’s an awesome way to get a rich aromatic dish – as each and every bit of the dish is filled with spices and taste. Cooking in a slow cooker typically does not warrant one to stir – thus making the tasting along the way almost impossible. In fact, it is recommended that we don’t open the lid as the heat trapped in between the lid and the stoneware is critical in the cooking process.

So now – I’ve made so far 2 beef stew – it taste somewhat OK, but I am still trying to figure out how to make a kick out of it! The first round, I over-did on the cloves – making the dish super clove-vy. Bitterish flavor. Yikes. The second round – is definitely a lot better, but its so much thyme-y. The question now, how does one know how much to put in? How strong is strong? How do you not over flavor your dish? He he – that’s the challenge.

Probably the easiest way to go around this is to just plonk in a whole can of soup and let it cook with the meat! But that does not help with the pursue of reducing processed food – innit? So let’s see what’s next on the menu. Now I am “stuck” with a whole pot of beef stew ready to be eaten. I think it’s somewhat healthy as there’s no oil was used during the processed. We see how much of fat is stuck when I chill it later. Heh heh.

Till then…

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