What could be more comforting on a cold winter day in the great white north than stew? Beef Stew. I have a long list of comfort foods, and Beef Stew is for sure in the top ten. Hearty, rich, full of flavor. We like ours a little spicy. Beef Stew always brings smiles to our dinner table. This recipe makes enough for an army. Make this stew, and invite someone over after church on Sunday. Make some dinner rolls and an Apple Pie and they will think they died and went to heaven!
The list of ingredients may seem long, but really this recipe is quite simple. A little bit of cooking on the stove, then pop it in the oven for a couple hours. It will make your house smell fabulous. Make things easy on yourself by, giving the ingredient list a read through and get all your vegi’s and meat prepped before you turn your stove top on. Ready, Setty, Go!
4 pounds beef stew meat or round steak cut into one inch cubes
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon season salt ( I love Morton’s Natures’s Seasonings)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole sweet onion sliced thin
12 ounces white button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in half if large
1/2 red pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup dry red wine (Cabernet, Burgundy, Merlot all good choices)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
10 whole carrots peeled and chopped into chunks
32 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (NOTE: I highly recommend you get yourself some SMOKED paprika, it adds an amazing flavor to stews and sauces! It’s one of my favorite spices, polka dot period)
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, feel free to add more if you like spice
1 cup of water.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Start out by trimming the fat and grisle off 4 pounds of round steak.
Cut trimmed streak into one inch cubes. Or you can simply buy 4 pounds of stew meat from your butcher.
Mix 2 cups of flour in bowl with 1 teaspoon season salt, set aside and heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil together in a large dutch oven on stove top. . Dredge beef chunks in flour.
Drop them in pan to brown.
Be careful not to crowd meat pieces, while browning, you will most likely have to do this in two batches.
Remove browned meat, and continue to add meat until it is all browned. If pan starts to get dry add an additional tablespoon of butter and or olive oil. Adjust heat as needed you want to brown meat but not burn bottom of pan. Remove all browned meat from pan and set aside.
Slice one medium sweet onion, clean 12 ounce package of white button mushrooms, dice 1/2 of a red pepper, mince 3 cloves of garlic (more if your husband is not a vampire and can tolerate garlic better than mine).
This is good, this is very good, this browned, on the verge of burned goodness will give your stew flavor…don’t even think of scrapin’ any of that goodness out of there in less of course you are going to have a taste….then by all means scrape baby scrape.
Toss in pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic sautee’ on medium heat. The moisture from the vegi’s will loosen up all the brown crusty goodness from the bottom of the pan. Sautee until onions are starting to caramelize and mushrooms are browning, about 8 minutes.
Now for the good stuff. One glass Merlot or Burgundy wine. FIRST you must take a sip of the wine. Heaven for bid you pour nasty wine in your beef stew! Take another sip….are you sure it’s good enough?
OK, pour it on in with the caramelizing vegi’s. Kick up the heat get the party started, take a spatula and scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing.
Bring the browned beef chunks back to the party.
Carrots…aren’t they purdy? Yes carrots come in all shapes and sizes and colors. They are not all uniform and bite sized and sealed tight in plastic. Do you have a peeler? Use it!
Confession: Cloned Carrots scare me.
Sorry, sometimes I don’t know what happens to me, I get all bossy and sassy. Feel free to use the cloned type of carrots, what ever floats your boat.
Toss in your carrot chunks. Add cans of tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place covered pan in oven for 2-4 hours. I if you are going to be baking this stew on the longer end of the cooking time, be sure to check it and add water if stew appears to be cooking down too much.
We eat our stew over noodles. If you prefer potatoes, you could make yourself some mashed taters and ladle stew over them. OR you could cut up chunks of potatoes and add them into the stew, add extra water if you are going to add potatoes. I love peas in my stew, but my kiddos think peas will kill them, so I leave them out. The sacrifices I make…let me tell ya!
Now don’t ya wish you had smell-o-vision? MMmmm-MMMmmm Good!