Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hearty Beef Stew Master Recipe (Main Dish)

This is a great make ahead recipe for fall and winter. It is easy and delicious.


Make this in a oven safe kettle that measures at least 10 inches in diameter. I use a Le Cruset enameled cast iron dutch oven. If your pot doesn't have an oven safe top, use a double layer of foil to cover it.

I like it over wide whole wheat egg noodles but you can, of course, serve it however you like. I have also used this as a filling for Beef Pot Pie with a biscuit crust.

If you like, you can finish the stew with whatever ingredients you like instead of or in addition to peas and carrots.

3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
2 medium large onions, chopped (2-3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
4 large carrots
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 200. Place meat in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/5 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Toss to coat. Heat 2 T oil over medium high heat in a large non-reactive (oven safe) soup kettle. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. (This will take you at least two takes me four. Do NOT crowd the meat as it will not brown.) Add additional oil if necessary. Transfer meat to a platter.

2. Add onions to pot. Sauté until almost softened, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour and cook until lightly colored, 1-2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to the pan. Add broth, bay leaves and thyme, bring to a simmer. Cover and place in oven and simmer until meat is just tender 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You don't even have to check it during this time. You can cool and refrigerate the stew for up to three days at this point.)

3. Before serving, steam carrots until just tender, about 6 minutes.

4. Add steamed carrots and uncooked peas to fully cooked stew. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve.

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