Friday, January 8, 2010

HERBED BEEF STEW


This recipe serves eight, an ample amount to provide leftovers for next day's dinner. A good thing, since stew tastes better the next day! The wine and herbs bring aboard a lot of flavor and make this an irresistible meal for a cold day.


Ingredients:

  • 2 lb cubed stew beef, such as chuck roast. The meat should be trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 lb red potatoes
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups frozen Italian (flat) string beans at room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen peas


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven heat 3 tablespoons of the oil and brown the meat well on all sides. Make sure you do not overcrowd the meat. You may need to cook it in two batches. Add some more oil to the pot if needed for the second batch. When the meat is browned well, remove it from the pot, sprinkle the oregano on top, cover and set aside.



Add the rest of the oil to the pot and when it's heated saute the onions and celery until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and mix. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the wine slowly, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, thyme, parsley, and the beef.


Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Cook for one hour.


Add the potatoes and carrots, mix well, and cook for another hour.
Add the string beans. I've chosen flat Italian string beans because I find them more flavorful, even when frozen.


Continue cooking the stew until all the vegetables are soft, about another 30 minutes.


Ten minutes before the stew is finished add the peas and season with salt and pepper if needed.


Remove the pot from the oven: the stew is now ready to serve.

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