Beef Stew A Bowl Of Comfort
Hearty, warming, filling, a meal in a bowl, thats beef stew.Honestly, I don’t eat that much meat, but every now and then I want it and look forward to the cooler weather so I can make this wonderful dish. I don’t use a recipe, you don’t really need to it’s one of those wonderful meals that you can just add ingredients, you be the judge how much or how little, taste, add more of this and that add a variety of vegetables you can get creative. I will give you the basics for my beef stew, there are a million and one recipes out there so here is one more to add to the list.
I like using a good red wine in my stew and always use a wine that is good enough to drink, not that cooking wine you see in the supermarket, but you can omit and use just stock and/or water, good cubed beef, vegetables, let it braise until the meat is so tender it literally melts in your mouth. I don’t add potatoes to my stew, instead I spoon over creamy mashed potatoes, I like yukon gold that I put through a food mill so there are no lumps, add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.
Serves 4-6 depending on serving size
2 lbs good cubed beef (I like chuck)
2 tbs flour
2 tbs tomato paste
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic (smash and add whole)
Red wine (half bottle approximately)
water or stock (about 3 1/2 cups) just enough to cover the meat
Carrots I like to use the small baby carrots for this and add them whole (you judge how much)
peas – frozen are fine
Bay leaf, thyme (optional)
Peas- I never measure but I think about 1 cup frozen peas or fresh if you have.
salt and pepper
Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven, add the onion and sweat them, cook just until it gets soft, add garlic and cook for a short time just so it is warmed. Sprinkle the beef with the flour and toss to coat. Add to the pot with the onions and garlic and brown the meat, now add the tomato paste and carrots, stir to combine and cook for approximately 2 minutes just so the tomato paste starts to caramelize. Now add the wine and water or stock. You can season with salt and pepper, cover with lid slightly ajar and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasional for about 2-3-4 hours, check frequently stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and also to make sure the liquid hasn’t reduced to much, adjust if it has. About 15 before you are ready to serve add the peas. The liquid will have reduced significantly and will be thick and rich but if it is not thick enough for your taste, make a slurry using flour and water and pour into the stew, give a stir and cook a few more minutes. Serve alone or with potatoes, egg noodles or warm crusty bread and butter and a glass of your favorite red wine. NOTE: I used Fritz a Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, from Dry Creek Valley in California, this is a deliciously rich wine, that I thought would go well with a hearty beef stew. I drank the rest of the wine with dinner, a really nice pairing.