It's October. New Jersey is currently suffering under a coastal storm that refuses to leave (we had it last weekend, and now it's drifted back to us). It's gray, cold and gloomy. And soggy. I haven't been birding with The Lurker and Perfect Tommy for way too long. Bleah. So I made a pot of beef stew earlier this week and have been eating it ever since.
I started with Marnie Henricksson's recipe for red-cooked beef stew from Everyday Asian, but I made a few changes this time. I added chopped celery and carrots, as well as a bay leaf for the seasonings. Rather than using Chinese mushroom soy, I used leftover chashu broth. The stew juice ended up lighter is color as a result, so I really can't call it red-cooked this time. The result was a stew with a mild flavor dominated by the aroma of star anise.
In a belated note for music fans, WXPN is doing its countdown of 885 best/favorite albums as voted by its listeners. I submitted a hopelessly obscure top ten list and only two of my albums have made it in so far. It's fun listening in when I can and keeping track of the results.
Now back to your regularly scheduled food blog.