Cook: Beef Stew

During a recent cold front in NYC, I was craving beef stew.*  Boeuf bourguignon, while delicious, was a bit more intense than I what I was looking for, so I came up with this simple, but flavorful recipe.

*It might also have something to do with the DVD release of Julie & Julia

Beef Stew
Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3-4 hours, mostly unattended

Yield: Approximately 6 cups

2 tbsp butter
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup onions, diced

1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed

1 lb baby carrots

1 lb stewing beef, cubed into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp flour

1 cup dry red wine

32 oz low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper

(1) Brown mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat in a large dutch oven; remove and set aside
picture of mushrooms in dutch oven with butter

(2) Add onions and 0.5 tbsp butter to the pan; saute until translucent; remove and set aside
picture of onions being sauteed
(3) Prepare beef: pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge in flour
picture of beef sprinkled with salt and pepper and dredged in flour
(4) Add 0.5 tbsp to pan and brown the beef, make sure to turn it so it browns on all sides; remove and set aside
picture of beef being browned in dutch oven

(5) Pour wine into pan and scrape off any browned bits 
picture of wine used to deglaze
(6) Add 3 c stock, bay leaves, thyme, and about 2 tsp each of salt and pepper (adjust to your tastes)
picture of stock and spices added to dutch oven

(7) Return mushrooms, onions and beef to the pan; bring to a boil
picture of mushrooms, onions, and beef returned to dutch oven

(8) Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered

(9) Add potatoes and carrots; simmer covered for another 2-3 hours, adding more stock if necessary
picture of potatoes and carrots added to stew
(10) Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired

Notes: I used a dutch oven for this, but if you don't have one, you can use a large non-Teflon saute pan and Crock Pot.  Browning the beef is important for developing the flavor of the stew and of the beef itself - so don't skip that step!  You can use any dry red wine (I used a Shiraz) - but, only cook with wine you'd drink.  The veggies in this recipe can be substituted easily; I recommend trying it with seasonal vegetables like turnip, parsnip, or rutabaga, from your local farmers market.

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