Friday, July 11, 2014

Classic Beef Stew

To me comfort foods, are the ultimate in Mom's and Grandma's cooking, they warm you up on a cold winters day, they remind you of good times around the family table when you were a kid, even spending the night with Grandma. Classic Beef  Stew is one of those comfort food I love to make any time of the year. Where we live in Arizona, the days are warm and the nights are cool, in the winter it snows.  I try to make as many soups or stew as I can, to freeze so I can take them out when necessary. Meat and potatoes reach their full potential in this hearty stew.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion {12 ounces}, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can {14 ounces} diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry red wine { I use a burgundy}
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels.
  2. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half the beef and cook 5 minutes or until well browned on all sides. Transfer beef to a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to Dutch oven and repeat with remaining beef.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until very fragrant.
  5. Stir in tomatoes with their juices. Add wine, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme and beef with it's accumulated juices. Heat to boiling over high heat.
  6. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1 hour.
  7. Add potatoes and carrots; cook 1 hour longer or until vegetables are fork-tender. Discard bay leaf.
  8. With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables and beef to a bowl and cover with foil t keep warm. Skim and discard fat from cooking liquid.
  9. Raise heat to medium-high and cook liquid until slightly reduced, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Stir in frozen peas and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until heated through. 
  11. Spoon liquid and peas over meat mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.
  12. Serve with Crusty Italian Bread.

ACTIVE TIME: 45 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 45 MINUTES
MAKES: 8 MAIN-DISH SERVINGS