How exactly could it be 55 degrees on Sunday and then cold enough for not one but two severe snowstorms this week?! Perhaps it is from the storm Seattle brought to Denver on Sunday. Boom! (That was the extent of my sports jokes.) No matter. My beef stew recipe has magical powers to heat that belly and warm the soul.
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef,
- cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, cut in half or quartered
- 2 yellow onions, 1-inch chop
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 6 whole garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons harissa, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
- 1 cup red wine (that you would drink, white will do if that is all you have)
- 1 pound potatoes, halved or quartered (depends on size)
- 1 branch fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 cups beef stock or broth, plus more to just cover the contents of the pot
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
Bring beef to room temperature. Season cubes with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour and shake off the excess. Reserve.
Heat Dutch oven or pot over medium flame. Add olive oil and mushrooms. Sauté until browned, about eight minutes. (SCHOP! Tip: Don’t fret! Mushroom liquid will release and evaporate before browning will begin.) Remove from pot and reserve in a bowl.
Bring the pot back up to temperature and, in batches, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and brown half the beef over medium heat for five to seven minutes, turning to brown evenly. Place the finished beef in the bowl with the mushrooms and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary.
Bring the pot back up to temperature. Heat another two tablespoons of oil and add the onions and carrots. Season with one teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Clear a space on the bottom of the pot and add tomato paste and harissa (if using). Stir to combine and cook for one minute. Add wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon until liquid reduces by half.
Add the reserved beef and mushrooms, potatoes, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and cover with beef stock. Add Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon each salt, and pepper. Bring stew to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for two hours, stirring at least once during cooking. (It can also be cooked in a preheated 275-300 degree oven.)
Once the stew is done and before serving, remove bay leaves and herb stems and stir in the frozen peas. Reseason to taste. Enjoy with the same wine and a hearty green salad and crusty bread!
Be gone winter blues! Winter stew is here!
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSCHOP, Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.