Beef Stew

Oh, hey there. It’s been a while! Yes, I’m still bopping around doing food-related things, but I’m currently moderating a fight between my MacBook and my iPhone so I don’t have any pictures for the entries I want to post. Let’s be honest, what’s a food blog with out pictures? So, here’s an older entry I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. In fact, I started writing it when we were having a snow storm and then I got distracted. For two months. OY VEY!

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Beef Stew

We’re scheduled to get another snow storm in the next day or so, and according to my mom it’s officially started up in Vermont. What’s good snow storm chomping? Beef stew of course! The recipe I use is mostly one of Emeril’s, and over the past few years I’ve tweaked it here and there to make it the way that Rob and I like it; slightly spicy, robust, and with fresh peas added to each individual serving so they stay bright green. Also, this makes it easy for those who hate peas (cough, ROB, cough) because they don’t have to pick them out.

I don’t know about you but brown soggy peas freak me out.  No bueno.
I don’t know about you but brown soggy peas freak me out. No bueno.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Essence
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups roughly chopped yellow onions
2 cups sliced carrots, (1-inch slices)
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or more if you like a thicker sauce)
4 1/2 cups stock – I use 3 cups beef, 1.5 cups chicken.
1 – 2 cups red wine (I really like to use cabernet sauvignon)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 to 4 cups quartered new potatoes, or small red potatoes in 1” cubes
1 fresh peas (or frozen)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

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Instructions:

Season all the meat with Essence. Heat the oil in a dutch oven until very, very hot. Add about 1/3rd of the meat into the pan evenly spaced and not crowded. Cook on one side until a crust forms and then flip every piece over individually and cook the other side. Remove 1st batch from the pan and repeat the process with the meat until all of it has been browned. Add more oil as needed. This may mean that you spend 45 minutes browning 4 or 5 batches of meat but IT IS WORTH IT. Do not crowd the pan, and you will have luscious stew meat.

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Once all the meat has browned, add butter and mushrooms to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for another 3-5 minutes, also stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir stir stir stir stir for 30 seconds to a minute until you can really smell it. Evenly distribute the flour into the pot and stir like crazy to evenly coat the veggies. Once the veggies are coated in flour paste, continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes until the flour is a nice toasty brown color (this prevents that nasty raw flour taste).

Add the wine and stir to make a thick wine paste. Add the tomato paste to this mixture and, you guessed it, stir some more. Then add the rest of your liquids (stock) one cup at a time, and stir after each addition for a smooth gravy. Add the cooked beef back into the pot along with the thyme and rosemary. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for an hour, or more (once I had to cook it for 1:45) until the meat is nice and tender. Once that happens, add the potatoes in and cook, covered, for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

To serve this, I like to layer egg noodles and fresh peas on the bottom, then ladle piping hot stew over the top and let it sit for a minute, then stir, and sprinkle fresh parsley on top.

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Bonus food picture!!

Really cool rainbow carrot
Really cool rainbow carrot
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