Friday, March 1, 2013

Beef Stew

The very best beef stew is made with leftover Pot Roast, but no matter how large a roast I make we never seem to have any leftover!  After many stew-less years I finally set out in search of a great Beef Stew recipe.  It was much harder than I imagined.  I finally settled on Mark Bittman's Beef Stew recipe from his book, How to Cook Anything.
How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition) 
This has been a go-to cookbook of mine for years and he didn't disappoint me!
I made a few variations from his recipe and I think you should feel free to experiment too.  I thought this would be good (and very healthy) with a few handfuls of spinach thrown in at the last moment.  This makes about 8 servings of stew.


2lb sirloin tip roast, or any other low-cost roast, 1" dice
2 TBSP oil, I used olive
3 large red or yellow potatoes, 1" dice
1 large turnip, 1" dice
2 large white onions, 1" dice
2 cloves minced garlic
8oz carrots, 1" dice
3 cup. beef broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 TBSP flour
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TBSP butter 


Heat the oil in a large enameled Dutch oven (7.5 qt) over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot carefully add half the meat.  Allow the meat to brown 3-4 minutes, turn, and brown 3-4 more minutes.  You want to develop a beautiful brown crust on the meat; this is where the flavor lives. 

Once you've browned the meat remove it to a bowl and repeat with the remaining meat.
When the meat is done add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sweat them over medium heat until the onions are wilted, about 5 minutes.  Once they're wilted sprinkle the flour in and stir vigorously.  Cook the flour out for 2 minutes.  
Next slowly add the beef broth while stirring.  Be sure to scrape up all the lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  After the broth is in add the thyme and bay and bring to a boil.  Back the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
After one hour add the potatoes, turnip and carrots.  Bring the stew back to a boil, back down to a simmer, cover again and cook 45 minutes.  You want to cook it until the veggies are fork tender.  
When the veggies are tender add the peas and adjust the seasoning (it's amazing how much salt potatoes soak up).  Cook the peas 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the butter.
Enjoy the warm and delicious beef stew with a nice crusty bread.

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