Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe: Beef Stew

I’m obsessed with this beef stew recipe. It’s kind of a work in progress but here’s the gist of it. This is great for work week lunches, but if you want a fancy dinner I’d go with the first link below.

It’s a combination of these three recipes:

Total time: 1.5h
Hands on: 45min

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into pieces (I buy “Beef For Stew” at Whole Foods)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (meh – or two, or three…)
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine (Yep, that’s a whole bottle)
1 small can tomato paste (I use the kind where the only ingredient is tomatoes. No sugar. No salt.)
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig (or a few pinches of dried is fine)
2 large yams or sweet potatoes – whatever kind you like
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 lb bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
15 cremini mushrooms (I get small ones and just half them)
Small 1lb bag of baby carrots (I leave them whole and just dump them straight from the bag)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Weird Tools you might need to check if you have
“large enameled cast-iron casserole” – this basically just means any big pot with a lid that is made to go in the oven as well as on the stove top – so no plastic or rubber. Mine is not enamel and it’s fine.

1.       Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add ½ of the chopped onion and all of the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil (I find that there’s never enough pepper and salt), stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

2.       Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.

3.       With the yams, olive oil, honey, lemon juice. Prepare this recipe and put it in the oven right next to the stew pot. Should only take a few minutes. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/honey-roasted-sweet-potatoes-recipe/index.html

4.       In a large skillet, fry the bacon until it’s half-cooked. Leave the bacon fat in the pan. Add the rest of the onion, mushrooms and carrots and cover. Cook until the onion and bacon are fully cooked. About 4-10 minutes. Drain bacon fat from the pan.

5.       When the stew and yams are finished combine everything in the stew pot, dish it up, garnish with parsley if you’re fancy, and enjoy!

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