Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hearty Beef Stew

Beef stew in June? It’s true. My DB has been requesting this for a few weeks now, and quite truthfully- I thought he’d let go of the idea of beef stew since it’s been getting warm, and at times humid, outside. But no, he has not. And to be quite honest- this beef stew is absolutely delicious, and despite it being 85 degrees and humid outside, it tasted simply divine. It is my favorite beef stew, and I’m not even a red meat fan. The beef broth in this dish is out of this world! It has such a robust, bold flavor, and tastes like you’ve been hovering over your stove for hours. Don't be intimidated by the blackened pan after cooking all the stew meat- that's where all the flavor is. When the wine and chicken stock are added, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all that flavor into your beef stew.

The beef and vegetables are so tender too. Though the meal does take a few hours to cook, the prep work is relatively simple. Make sure to have a splatter screen ready- the oil will splatter! I love to dip toasted, crusty bread into the beef broth and eat the slow-cooked vegetables. This dish makes enough for 4 servings, but since there are only the 2 of us, my DB likes to take it for lunch- it reheats beautifully. A big thanks to Katie of Good Things Catered for her delicious recipe!

3 lbs. Beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 in. cubes
Salt and ground pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped coarse
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup full-bodied dry red wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used unsalted chicken stock)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes (I used Yukon Gold)
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup minced parsley
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Crusty bread, for dipping

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Dry beef thoroughly and season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.(I cooked over medium-low heat.)
4. Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook, not moving the beef until brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional min.)

5. Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 Tbsp oil to the pan, repeating previous steps with other half of beef. (The beef will impart oil so I didn't need to add additional oil to the pan.)
6. Reduce heat to medium and add the additional 1 Tbsp oil to the now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom.

7. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened, approximately 5 minutes.

8. Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
9. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored, approximately 1-2 minutes.

10. Add wine, scraping the bottom and stirring until thick and flour is dissolved.

11. Gradually add the chicken broth/stock, stirring constantly, scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan.

12. Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer.
13. Add beef, return to simmer, and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

14. Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and return to the oven to cook for an additional hour.

15. Remove the pot from the oven. Add the peas, cover and allow to stand for 5 min. 16. Stir in the parsley, discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning (add Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper, if needed), and serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from Good Things Catered


Joelen said...

This is a delicious recipe from America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated! Looks delicious!

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