Monday, November 17, 2008
a time to stew
So, we had the strangest weather this past weekend. Saturday started out bleak and rainy then it was 77 degrees and sunny. Yesterday was windy and chilly and today is just cold! It's just strange. I think we are expecting snow tonight.
I made beef stew yesterday for dinner. I think I have mentioned this here before, but I love soups and stews. I mostly enjoy very savory soups. Yesterday, I wanted my stew thick (like gravy) and rich without a lot of acidity. I usually put tomatoes (diced or whole) in beef stew but yesterday, I just put a little tomato paste in at the beginning and let it develop into a nice, rich, think, beefy, good time! I usually put peas into my stew as well, but I was not really in the mood for peas yesterday. The husband and I were very happy with this dinner, although my husband confessed he is not crazy in love with pearl onions like I am. We watched the Steelers' game (the husband is a big fan) while we were eating dinner, and I think the fact that the Steelers won made dinner all the better for him!
Beef stew 6 servings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
10 small red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups pearl onions, peeled
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and the paprika and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan; you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the stock has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, minced garlic, ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, and pearl onions. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Obviously, I served mine with cornbread. I love cornbread.