Weekend Beef Stew
It’s been a month since my last blog post and so much happened in and outside the kitchen. As I look back at 2017 and prepare for what will be an amazing 2018, my heart is full. I am grateful for the love and support many have shown me this year and will continue to share some of my simple, tasty and awesome recipes right here! I also have a couple of side projects I’m working on and can’t wait to share the details soon.
It turns out I don’t spend nearly as much time in the kitchen as I thought during the months of November and December. Invites to catch-up brunches and holiday dinners pull me away from my home, leaving very little time for recipe testing. Sometimes I wish I lived in a world where time-turners existed, but alas I’m not a fictional character in a wizarding world. With limited time, I’ve realized is that one pot meals work best for me during the festive months. These types of dishes allow time for holiday planning and baking. Stews are one of my favorite single pot dishes to prepare during the busy season, particularly on the weekend.
Last Sunday, I prepared a pot of beef stew. One of the downsides of making this dish is the time it takes to cook. In all, a pot of stew takes about 1 1/2 hours to cook properly. Then there’s all the peeling and chopping. If you can, ask your neighborhood butcher to cut up the beef in 2-inch chunks and buy some of the veggies precut. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both carry pre-chopped butternut squash at a reasonable price. On the upside, once all the ingredients are chopped there is very little work to be done. Scroll down to see a couple of photos of the stew in the making.
Serving Size: 5-6
2 pounds lean, boneless chuck steak, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup red cooking wine, such as Roland’s burgundy cooking wine
1 tablespoon thyme
3 cups of low-sodium beef broth, plus more if stew is dry
6 cilantro leaves
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
In a large bowl, combine flour and pepper. Add beef and mix until coated. Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. When oil begins to sizzle, add meat in a single layer and space out. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, turning with tongs. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
In the same pot, add wine and scrape brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add beef back to pot. Cook for a minute, then add beef broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for a minute. Cover and cook for 70-75 minutes, until the beef is tender. Check on the pot twice or three times to scoop fat from the top of the broth with a perforated skimmer.
Once the beef has cooked thoroughly, add carrots and onions and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and butternut squash and simmer for 30 minutes more. Add more broth if stew looks dry, 1 cup at a time. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Remove from stove top and divide into 6 bowls.