It’s definitely fall and one of my favorite dishes to make during a brisk fall evening is a Hearty Beef Stew. Making the stew for dinner came at a perfect time since we had some leftover red wine from our recent sushi party. (Which is odd since I try my best not to have leftover wine under any circumstance lol!) Nonetheless, this hearty stew will warm you up like a comforting blanket on a cool night…
When it comes to beef stew, I find the best cut of beef to use is beef chuck. It’s perfect for long, slow cooking and absorbs flavors really well. This recipe starts out with browning the cubed beef to get some color going as well as building up some flavor with the fond (the little brown bits from cooking the beef). Flour is sprinkled in to help the create a thickener for the stew and then the pot is deglazed with red wine and broth. Aromatics are added, including bay leaf, fresh thyme and soy sauce. After a quick stir, the pot is covered and set to bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. After baking, baby carrots are added and back it goes into the oven for another 45 minutes. Low and slow is the game here and I promise it’s definitely worth the wait! Once the carrots have had their time in the oven, the pot is transferred back to the stovetop to cook where mushrooms are added. Just before serving, frozen peas are stirred in and warmed through. And after all that patience, it’s finally time to dig in! This goes very well with a Mashed Potato Casserole, which I served with the stew. And just as they say with wine as it ages, this stew is even better the next day!
recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
5 pounds boneless beef chuck eye roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 onions, minced (about 4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup all purpose flour, seasoned
2 cups red wine
2 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound baby carrots
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups frozen peas
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
Pat meat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until just starting to smoke. Add half of beef and cook until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total, reducing heat if oil begins to smoke or fond begins to burn. Transfer beef to large plate. Repeat with remaining beef and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, leaving second batch of meat in pot after browning.
Reduce heat to medium and return first batch of beef to pot. Add onion to Dutch oven and stir to combine with beef. Cook, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, until onion is softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds.
Slowly add wine, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. Increase heat to high and allow wine to simmer until thickened and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, bay leaves, thyme, and soy sauce. Bring to simmer, cover, transfer to preheated oven, and cook for 11/2 hours.
Remove pot from oven; remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in the baby carrots, cover, return to oven, and cook until they are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
Using large spoon, skim any excess fat from surface of stew. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook over medium heat on the stovetop until meat offers little resistance when poked with fork (meat should not be falling apart), about 15 minutes. Stir in frozen peas, and allow to warm through. Check for seasoning and serve.