Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beef Stew

1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 C AP flour
2 lbs beef stew meat (chuck roasts work well), cut into big chunks
3/4 bottle dry red wine (I used a Pinot Noir & we each had a glass so we had ¾ of a bottle left to work with J)
Handful of thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
3 cups beef stock
4 red potatoes, cut in quarters
1/2 lb carrots, sliced
1 onion, quartered
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, halved
1 C frozen peas
2 T AP flour
2 T butter
1/4 C chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high.  Season the beef with S&P.

While the pan is heating up, set up a meat-flouring station next to your stove with a plate or shallow pan for the flour & a bowl with your seasoned beef.  

When the pan is hot, working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, toss the beef into the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour & add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan.  Brown the beef on all sides. Once it has all been browned remove it to a plate & set aside.

Add the wine to the pan & bring it up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze the pan. Once the wine has come up to a simmer, add the meat back in along with the thyme, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, & beef stock. Season with S&P to taste.  Bring the mixture up to a boil & then lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook uncovered, about 20 minutes, until it begins to thicken. At this point, cover it & cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 hours of cooking add the potatoes, carrots, & onions.  You can either add the mushrooms at this point also, or you can sauté them separately while the stew is cooking & add them at the end with the peas.  I prefer sautéing separately because it keeps the mushrooms from getting mushy & it gives them more flavor.  After adding the vegs, turn the heat up slightly & simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes more, until the vegs are tender. 

Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking along with the sautéed mushrooms if you chose to do them separately. Taste for seasonings, remove thyme sprigs & bay leaves, and stir in the parsley. 

Perfect for a cold, rainy night!  J

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