Monday, January 25, 2010

Bon Appetit Beef Stew

While I have my go-to beef stew recipe, I always enjoy trying new recipes- even the addition of 1 ingredient or a separate cooking method may enhance the overall recipe and teach me new things in the kitchen. This recipe had the addition of bacon- and who doesn't love bacon? This beef stew yielded a great beef flavor with a slight undertone of bacon. The meat was super tender, and I also added red wine. Overall, an easy stew to prepare and very tasty! The original recipe paired this stew with herbed dumplings, but I paired it with some Garlic Cheese Biscuits which was great accompaniment.

Ingredients:
3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp oil
4 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped (Used 8 regular-sliced bacon)
3 cups finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5-1/2 cups canned beef stock, divided
14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added purée
6 medium carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup red wine
3 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:
1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Pat beef dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook beef until brown, stirring occasionally and scraping up browned bits, about 8 minutes. Don't overcrowd your pan. Transfer meat to bowl.
3. Add bacon to same pot. Sauté until crisp, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.
4. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
5. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Add 5 cups canned beef broth and crushed tomatoes with purée. Scrape up the brown bits. Cover and bring to simmer.
6. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until beef is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
7. Add carrots, potatoes, and red wine. Cover; bake until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 30 minutes.
8. Uncover; bake until beef is very tender, about 25 minutes.
9. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup canned beef broth and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Bring stew to simmer over medium heat. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into stew. Return stew to simmer, stirring until sauce thickens.

Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit

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