Thursday, April 25, 2013

Use Your Spices: Beef & Vegetable Stew

Brent and I adore those beef stews that just have incredibly soft, amazingly flavorful chunks of beef in a thick, rich tomato, wine sauce.  It took us (mutter mutter) "some" time to perfect this, but I think we've arrived and as yet another cold spell persists in OK here's one more trip to the magic of stew before the blaze of summer.

Beef & Vegetable Stew:

Notes: Our current favorite attempts begin with the Pioneer Woman.  This spicy version was amazing, but a bit much for our kids and sometimes our tummies. We tried something like her Sunday Night Stew, but wanted more spices and depth somehow.  So the below is our take.  Yes, we did make the mashed potatoes to go along with it.  I have now had five servings total-- Dinner, then Breakfast & Lunch two days in a row, if that gives you any indication of how much we like it!

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (We used an Arm Roast Cut Into 1in Chunks)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 to 1 c. red wine
  • 3-4 T Tomato Powder
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock Or Broth, More If Needed For Thinning (We used water + Beef Boullion).
  • 2 T Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar ( or 1 tsp Maple Sugar, very tasty)
  • 5 whole Carrots, Peeled And Diced
  • 8 oz Crimini Mushrooms, cut into 8ths (Or insert other vegetable of your choice, but probably not potatoes as we serve it with mashed potatoes). 
  • 1 1/2 T. Great Plains Bison & Beef Rub
  • 1 tsp. Homestead Seasoning
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  •  3/4 tsp Supreme Shallot Salt, (because I'm currently obsessed.) 

Preparation Instructions

Salt and pepper stew meat.  Toss with the flour until all sides are lightly coated.  Heat 1/2 of the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of of the butter, and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes. (Turn it as it browns.) Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the remaining butter and olive oil and the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it, too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.  (Scrape bits off the bottom as you go). 
Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it in all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes, then add the tomato powder and wine to the pot. Stir it into the onions and let it cook for two more minutes.
Pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire, sugar, spices, and bay leaf. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. (Note - this is a minimum time and your meat may need longer.  Taste it around this point and see if it is getting even close to tender, if not, let it go another 1/2 hour to an hour). 
After 2 hours (or so), add the mushrooms and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot, and let it simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.  Check that the vegetables are softenend and that the beef is very tender.  Continue cooking if either needs a bit more softening. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth or wine until it thins it up enough. Feel free to add beef broth as needed! 
When the mushrooms and turnips are tender, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve piping hot in a bowl with mashed potatoes, letting the juice run all over everything. 

Enjoy, tremendously. 

Anything you'd add to our stew? We're always looking for suggestions.  What other ways do you make oozingly tender beef?

1 comment:

Debra Dotter Blakley said...

Sounds amazing! Could you make this some time when I am staying over? Please and thank you. Mom


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