Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beef Stew


2 lbs cubed stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 TBS salted butter
5 sprigs of Rosemary
1 1/2 cups of Red Wine (I use Merlot)
1 large yellow onion, chopped in large pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
5 ribs of celery, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups of beef stock
1 1/2 TBS of tomato paste, divided use.


Cover the bottom of a large dutch oven with olive oil. Heat on high. In a ziplock baggie, combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add stew meat to baggie and shake, to coat minimally, with flour mixture. You are not trying to completely coat all meat, just to get a little bit of them covered. Don't be alarmed if you are left with extra flour.

When oil starts to smoke, working in batches, layer the bottom of your dutch oven with beef. Slightly brown beef on two sides. You don't want to cook the meat, so do this quickly. You also don't want to over crowd your pan, as that will cause less browning and more cooking. Remove browned beef to sit in a large plate or glass pan. (You want something that will allow you to catch all the juices that run out.

Pre-heat oven to 300. Once beef is browned and removed from the pan, lower heat to medium. Melt butter in the pan. Add in rosemary and red wine. Whisk to bring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring wine to boil, then reduce heat.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add onion, tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. When onions start to soften, add browned beef and any juices that have accumulated. Pour in beef stock, and stir. Add in 1/2 TBS of tomato paste, and stir until incorporated. Place pan into the oven.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Add in the rest of the tomato paste, stirring, and taste for salt and pepper. Add as necessary.   Return to the oven and bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours.

I served mine in bowls with biscuits the first night, and on the second reheated in a 350 oven for 25 minutes in bread bowls. Simply scoop out the top and inside of bread, butter and salt the inside of the bread, and fill with stew. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet on a middle rack.

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