Have you ever had some soup somewhere and it was so good you then tried to duplicate it at home? I've tried this and generally failed. I'd make good soup, but it just wasn't as good as what I was trying to duplicate. (See here)
Last weekend I came across some Yankee Beef Stew soup and it was absolutely delicious. Just like a Yankee Pot Roast dinner with pot roast, carrots, potatoes, etc. but with much more gravy.
So I searched around and tweaked some recipes to come up with my own version and decided once again, to try and duplicate it.
And THIS TIME, dammit, I hit one out of the park!
This soup came out so good, you gotta try it sometime.
INGREDIENTS AND METHOD:
1 4 - 6 pound Chuck Roast, bone in or out
1/2 cup flour
1/4 olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (plain or spiced)
1/3 cup cooking sherry
1/3 cup and 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (1/3 cup at the beginning, and 1/3 cup at the end of cooking to "freshen" the soup)
1 tablespoon dried thyme (Tip: 1 tablespoon might seem like a lot, but thyme floats and when you degrease the soup, a lot of the thyme will be discarded, but the essence remains)
4 bay leaves
3 sliced peeled and diced carrots
3 washed and sliced celery
2 cups small white potatoes, washed and chopped in half
32 ounces quality beef broth (1 quart)
2 beef bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste (I add one tablespoon of each at the beginning and it was perfect)
Pour olive oil into pan, add butter and turn to medium. Meanwhile liberally flour the chuck roast
with flour. When pan begins to smoke, immediately add roast and sear on each sides until dark brown. (About 10 minutes per side)
Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Carrots and celery sliced, onion diced into large chunks, and the garlic can be largely diced also. As stated, potatoes are washed, and just cut in half. (You will not saute potatoes)
When chuck is browned, lay it immediately into the crockpot and place potatoes over it. Add some oil to pan and saute the onions, garlic, celery, and celery for about 15 minutes until onion begins to soften. Make sure you scrape up all bits of browned meat and flour (called fond) in with the vegetables.
Pour vegetables on top of roast and potatoes. Add tomatoes and juice, beef broth, bouillon cubes, thyme, bay leaves, sherry and the wine vinegar. (Reserving the other 1/3 cup for the end of the process) Add salt and pepper.
Cook on high for one to two hours until it boils and then turn down to medium and cook for six to eight hours more.
When one hour is left, the roast should be floating near the top of the pot. I like to remove it at this point, and cut off any visible connective tissue and any fat, and then separate the balance of the roast into nice sized slices/chunks and return to the crockpot. At this point you should degrease the top of the soup. There will only be a few tablespoons but get it out of there.
Let it cook for another hour, and then let it sit for one half hour before serving. Now, here is one BIG secret about this soup, or any crockpot soup for that matter..... It will be good fresh out of the crockpot, but the next day, after cooling and reheating, it will knock your socks off as the flavors mellow and blend. Trust me.
Oh, by the way, MY bowl of soup is accompanied by my homemade Oatmeal Molasses Bread. It was purty good, I gotta tell ya.