Yum, right? That’s my beef stew and I looooooooove making this in the winter. And since we are currently living through the most hellish winter of my lifetime, I thought I should share the recipe with you. We all need something happy right about now, eh?
First off, here’s what you need:
• Delicious red wine (2 cups of it)
• 1.5 -2 lbs steak/roast cut up for stew (or you can have the butcher cut it)
• 4 carrots. Oh hell, I always wish I had more carrots in this. Better make it six.
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 bay leaves
• a few sprigs of fresh thyme
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 tbsp tomato paste (oh hey, if you forget to buy tomato paste — not that I’ve ever done that per se — you can boil down tomato sauce for about 20-30 minutes and voila, you get a tomato paste.
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 lb small potatoes
• 1/3 cup flour/gluten-free flour/cashew or almond meal/whatever you use to thicken stuff up a bit
Now it’s time to get cookin! In a dutch oven (or a large pot that can both go stovetop and inside the oven) warm the olive oil on high heat. While it’s heating, rinse and pat dry your beef, then add it in small batches, browning on all sides. Once the meat is browned, move to a plate with paper towels to drain the fat while you continue browning the rest of the beef.
Once all the beef is browned, throw it back into the pot and add in the carrots and onion and cook on medium heat until the onions begin to get soft. Once this happens, stir in the tomato-paste mixture and let that cook / mix in. After about a minute or two, add the flour in slowly to soak up all the juices.
Now slowly add in the 2 cups of wine, and let that cook on med-high for about 3-4 minutes. This is the point when your husband/child/dog will wander into the kitchen wondering what in the world smells so divine. After the wine has cooked down a little, add in the chicken broth and the thyme and bay leaves. Stir it all together, put a lid on it, and put it in the oven to cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.
While it’s cooking, I usually take this moment to clean up the kitchen.
When you have about 10 minutes left on the timer, wash your potatoes and quarter them.
I got these blue potatoes at Trader Joe’s — aren’t they lovely? I love that color! I have always read that food that is intensely colored has more nutritious value, so I happily try different variations of potatoes, carrots etc.
Anyway! Once the timer goes off, bring the stew out of the oven and remove the bay leaves and the stems from the thyme, and toss in the potatoes. You can also skim off some of the fat if you like. Then put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
After that last 20 minutes, transfer the pot back to the stove top on medium heat and add in the frozen peas. They only take about 5 minutes to cook, but I use this time to season the stew with lots of salt and pepper (personal preference) and to make sure the potatoes are done to my liking.
Now, this is one of those dishes that is the most pretty on the first day, but tastes the best each day after. So what I like to do is make it in the morning/early afternoon, and then put it away and reheat it for dinner. The longer the flavors are together the better it gets. Enjoy!
Oh! And the calories :) This is about 446 per bowl (if you get six servings from the batch). That might seem like a lot, but you’ll be stuffed all night so I think it’s totally worth it.
And for your internet share of the day, I found this post on the best white wines for less than $20. I’m more of a red-wine drinker myself, so I never know which whites to get, which is why I thought this might be helpful. Enjoy!