Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The "Ultimate" Beef Stew

I haven't had my camera in over a week because I left it in Tallahassee when Chad and I went up to watch the Seminoles play, so I didn't get to update with all my cooking last week. Kelli and Pat came to visit this past weekend to go with us to see Rascal Flatts, and she brought it back to me...so now I can post this week's recipes!

Fall has finally hit Tampa, which means the temp has gone below 85. It was actually a little chilly this weekend and Chad requested beef stew. I searched online for a recipe, and found one from Tyler Florence that looked pretty good. After reading the reviews, I modified it a bit to come up with this. Although I think it is still a bit too hot to eat stew (we had to turn the air down while we were eating it because we got so hot!), this was DELICIOUS! We both just loved it, and I will definitely make it again this winter.



Beef Stew

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups good quality dry red wine (I used Yellow Tail Shiraz)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
4 cups cups beef stock
9 small red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
7 tablespoons brown gravy mix, mixed with water to make a thick slurry
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh


Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.

While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.

Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all the browned bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, potatoes, carrots, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 hours add gravy mix, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the bay leaves.

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