Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beefy Stew

I posted a picture of my first beef stew of the season on Facebook  and Instagram this week, and received queries for the recipe from several of you lovely folks, so here it is!

There's not much I need to say about this stew, except that the meat literally falls apart and the rich, flavorful gravy is just begging to put a pile of egg noodles or a loaf of homemade bread to good use.

Mmmmm.


Gourmess' Beefy Stew
Ingredients:
Olive oil
2 lbs stew meat (chuck), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 
Wondra
4 cups beef broth
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper 
2 bay leaves 
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
2 cups baby carrots, roughly chopped
8-10 small potatoes, halved

Wilted, chopped mustard greens*

*Totally optional. I had some to use up, so I added 1/2 cup in at the end. They gave the stew a nice, peppery bite, but the stew is terrific without them, too.

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up: Category 3

To Do:  
  • Heat 2 TBS of the olive oil over high heat in a Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid). When the oil shimmers, carefully add the beef, making sure not to crowd the pan. (You may have to do the beef in batches.) Repeat until all the beef chunks are browned on all sides, then remove them to a plate.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the shallots and garlic to the pot along with a drizzle of oil, and cook them in the meat juices until translucent. 
  • In the meantime, in a medium-sized pot, whisk together the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and sugar over medium-low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Do not bring to a boil.
  • Return the meat to the Dutch oven and add the paprika, garlic powder, allspice, and a pinch or two of salt/pepper. Stir to combine, then sprinkle the meat with about one teaspoon of the Wondra and cook for a few minutes until the flour has dissolved and attached itself to the meat chunks. (The meat should look shaggy.)
  • Carefully stir the hot broth mixture in with the meat, then add the bay leaves and lemon juice.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced. (Check on it every 20 minutes or so to make sure it isn't boiling. It should be at a continuous, but slow simmer.)
  • When the meat is tender, check the liquid, which should have thickened into a nice gravy-like sauce. Skim off any excess fat from the top, and give it a taste. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Also, if the gravy isn't as thick as you'd like, remove a cup of the liquid and whisk in up to 1/4 tsp of the Wondra until thickened, then stir the liquid back into the stew. Or, if it seems too thick, add in a bit of water or broth (if you still have some), a bit at a time. Just be sure to warm the liquid you're adding first so it doesn't disrupt the simmer.
  • When the gravy is as you like it, remove the bay leaves and add in the butter and one TBS of the parsley, along with the carrots and potatoes. Re-cover and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and the potatoes slide off a fork when pierced.
  • Stir in the rest of the parsley (and greens if you're using), and season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.
  • Serve with crusty bread or over egg noodles -- and don't forget a glass of red wine!
There's nothing quite like the welcoming warmth and intoxicating aroma of a stew simmering on the stove. Yum.

Happy Autumn!
xoxo


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