Disclaimer: I’m not a cook. I know nothing about the science of cooking. I do enjoy cooking if I have the time to plan, shop and put a recipe together, but that’s so rare. Wow, though, do I love to eat! That’s why I thought it would be fun to occasionally share my favorite recipes. I have no ego attached to my cooking, so feel free to suggest changes and improvements. Anything goes!
Totally Yummy Beef Stew
This is seriously good beef stew, even better the second day, so be sure to make a bunch. As to how many servings this makes…if you eat dainty little bowlfuls of stew, it would probably serve eight. If you eat like John and I do, expect four servings, enough for two evenings of delicious stew. Serve it with biscuits or a crusty bread.
-3 pounds stew beef (OK, I guess this is chuck? I just grab stew beef at the grocery store when it looks good, which to me means cut into about 1 to 2 inch chunks, with very little fat I need to cut off.)
-Vegetable oil for browning (I use olive oil because I don’t have any vegetable oil. I know technically olive oil isn’t supposed to be used for browning because of the high temperature, but I don’t care)
-flour for dredging
-s and p
-3 T butter
-2 medium onions
-2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (I have a few garlic presses, but this has become my favorite. So easy to use and clean)
-2 T tomato paste (when I open a can of tomato paste, I divide it into 2 T batches and freeze so I always have it on hand)
-1 ½ cups red wine
-5 cups low sodium beef broth
-5-6 medium potatoes (I’ve noticed most stew recipes call for russet potatoes, but I think they get too mushy. I prefer red, but last night I had yellow and used them with delicious results)
-6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks (I used a package of fat baby carrots and cut them in half)
-3 celery stalks, cut in 1 inch slices (if you happen to have any celery leaves, chop up a few and toss them in when you add the celery)
-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-2 bay leaves
-a handful of chopped parsley (which I didn’t have, but which I think would have been the crowning glory)
-In a large Dutch oven, heat enough oil to cover the bottom
-Dredge the chunks of beef in the flour and brown it well in the oil. You’ll probably have to do this in two batches. Remove the browned beef to a plate with tongs or a slotted spoon. You can salt and pepper at this time, but I don’t add them until later.
-Add the butter to the pot and heat it
-Saute the onions in the butter until they begin to turn translucent, 5-ish minutes
-Add the garlic and sauté, but don’t let it burn.
-Stir in the ¼ cup flour and mix it all up
-Add in the tomato paste and keep stirring for a few minutes
-Add the wine and deglaze. This is my favorite part. I love scraping up all the brown goodness from the bottom of the pan and watching the wine begin to thicken. Simmer for a few minutes
-Add the broth, beef and herbs
-Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low for at least an hour.
-Add the rest of the vegetables and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
-uncover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the liquid is the thickness you like. This is where John (finally) takes over. He likes his stew thick.