Francine Segan, Food Historian and author of four cookbooks, with regular appearances on CBS, the Discovery and History channels as well as the Food Network, really solidified the idea in my mind of cooking with coffee, and yet it is still something I rarely do.
Ms. Segan had this to say about the qualities that make coffee a great addition: “Coffee has wonderful complex flavors and aromas---Tones of bittersweet chocolate, roasted nut and ripe dark berry tastes as well as aftertastes of fine red wine. All these delightful flavors and aromas add richness to food and inspire me to cook with coffee. I am also inspired to use coffee because I hate waste. Instead of tossing any leftover freshly brewed coffee I refrigerate or freeze it to use in a recipe in the place of water, wine or stock.” I mean really people, how much more do we need to get the coffee pot going anytime we are ready to get busy in the kitchen?
I am an avid soup maker so I started thinking about how I could incorporate coffee in my soup recipes. I thought I would get some ideas from others first; I mean why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? So I took to the internet to see what I could find.
Coffee Soup-Recipe Zaar
Now with a name like Coffee Soup you would think I had hit pay dirt right out of the box. Think again. While this is a recipe that has been around for decades, to me it is more like a cup of coffee in a bowl with toast floated in. Not really quite what I had in mind.
Another delicious sounding recipe that came up in my search was Spicy Pumpkin and Potato Soup at a site called, "Coffee with the Hermit". This explains why it came up in my search since this recipe does not actually contain coffee, but sounds like it could definitely stand up to the addition. With Pumpkin and Jalapeno it sounds like a natural.
After not really finding much to write home about in my search, I’ve decided that most people don’t think about it or are afraid to add coffee to their recipes so I’ve decided to offer up my very own original recipe. In my opinion, it deserves to be called a stew which is a thicker, richer soup.
Simply Sweet Beef Coffee Stew
1 lb. pack of stew beef
1 can of Tomato paste
3 large white potatoes peeled and cubed
Large onion diced
Fresh garlic peeled and chopped
Seasonings (my personal three-pack consists of season salt, coarsely ground black pepper and garlic powder—yes, I still include this even though I am using fresh garlic.)
3 cups of strongly brewed coffee (go for a rich coffee that has cocoa undertones)
Fresh Green Beans with the ends cut
3 tablespoons of Dark Brown Sugar
-Sautee onion in a small amount of oil in the bottom of your soup or stock pot until translucent.
-Add fresh garlic and sautee quickly without browning.
-Remove from pot.
-Flour and season beef chunks.
-Sautee in remaining oil adding more if needed.
-Remove from pot.
-Add ½ can of tomato paste and slowly pour in coffee stirring quickly mixing thoroughly scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
-Add all ingredients and just enough water to cover all.
-Bring to a boil and then cook on medium to low fire until meat and vegetables are tender.
Can be thickened with cornstarch if desired and served as a stew or over brown rice.