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Creating Comfort Food

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Slow cooking takes time but not a great deal of effort. Here are a few tips for preparing beef the good old-fashioned way.

When braising or stewing, remember... simmer - don't boil. Simmering prevents excessive shrinkage and yields a more tender dish.

The flavour of the liquid you use is important, and it can enhance beef's taste significantly. Try using a spice bag or bouquet garni, along with a well-seasoned liquid.

Searing beef before stewing or braising will enhance colour and flavour, but is not necessary.

Thicken sauces with arrowroot or cornstarch to give superior colour.

Flavour Variations...

For liquid, you may use water, wine, juice, broth or canned soup (more liquid may be added during cooking period, if necessary). Vegetables may be added during final 1/2 hour of cooking.

Tex-Mex - Season with packaged taco seasoning and use crushed canned tomatoes for liquid. Add sliced green pepper and onions for vegetables. Serve with tortillas.

Teriyaki - Season with packaged teriyaki seasoning and use pineapple juice for liquid. Add green and red pepper rings and serve with rice.

Mushroom - Use either cream of mushroom soup or packaged mushroom gravy mix and water for liquid. Add sliced onions, carrots and cubed potatoes and serve with noodles.

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