It will probably be the last stew I will make until next winter, as for me this is a cold weather food. With an abundance of veggies in the fridge, and as I haven’t made a stew at all this year, this recipe seemed ideal. The days have started heating up but not so hot that a bowl of beef wasn't welcome at dinner time.
My thanks to the host of 'Veggies by Candlelight', and to Ina Garten where she got her recipe from. Ina is one of my favorite ladies on the food channel. I enjoy her shows very much and have a couple of her cook books. You can see the host’s version at this food blog, and I highly recommend a visit, not only to see the recipe, but to look at many tempting, delicious recipes.
Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew
2-1/2 pounds of good quality chuck beef, cubed into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 bottle of good red wine, and pour yourself a glass ( marinade won’t miss it)
3 whole garlic cloves, flattened (for marinade)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (to use later when cooking the stew)
3-4 bay leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour (the host also says she has tried whole wheat pastry and oat flour with great success)
Freshly ground black pepper
A good quality olive oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1/2 pound white mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch slices (discard the stems)
1 pound of small potatoes, halved or quartered
2 cups or 1 (14-1/2 ounce can) chicken stock or broth (homemade when available)
1 large (or 2 small) branches of fresh rosemary
1/2-1 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package of frozen peas
Marinate the beef:
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, garlic and bay leaves. Refrigerate to marinate overnight. (You will be reserving 2-1/2 cups of this marinade to use later on in the recipe.)
Brown the beef:
The next day preheat the oven to 300 degress F.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of salt, and pepper to taste.
Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, discarding the bay leaves and the garlic. Save 2-1/2 cups of marinade.
In batches dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
Heat olive oil - about a tablespoon - in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. (This may have to be done in batches because the beef cubes need to sizzle in a hot pan for a good five minutes before stirring. Only when the bottoms have a dark crust and can come away easily from the pan can you move onto the other sides.)
Place the first batch of beef in a large, oven-proof Dutch oven and continue to brown, add the remaining beef to the pan after the first batch is done. Put that in the Dutch oven also.
Prepare the veggies:
In the same pan as you cooked the beef, with more oil if necessary, add the onions, carrots, mushrooms and potatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Finish the stew:
Place all the vegetables into the Dutch oven over the beef.
Add 2-1/2 cups of the reserved marinade to the empty pot, and cook over high heat. Deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Add the chicken stock, rosemary, sundried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper.
Very carefully, pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove.
Put the lid on the Dutch oven and carefully place in the oven to bake for about 2 hours, or until all the meat and veggies are tender, stirring once during cooking.
If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275 degrees F.
Before serving stir in the frozen peas.
Season to taste and serve hot.
A few things we altered was that we did not add the peas this time.
Also could not find the sun-dried tomatoes and used a large can of diced tomatoes instead.
The broth was delicious.
It took a while to prepare. Starting early in the morning is always the key. When marinating the beef the night before, preparing the veggies would be a big time saver. They can be put in a bowl tightly covered in the fridge. The potatoes can be done the day you cook the stew.
Whenever I feel like getting into the kitchen, the extra effort is well worth the finished meal.
I prepared a lot of the food when Gregg was out of the house for a few hours. When he came home he took over what was left, and I sat at the kitchen table while reading the steps of the recipe out loud. As I have mentioned several times before, since retirement he has enjoyed getting into the kitchen and more often than not we enjoy cooking together.
Did I mention there are leftovers for a couple of more days? One of our longer prep and cook recipes but well worth it just for that. We gave our son a bowl the next day when he came over, and he gave it a thumb's up too.
Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.