By now you all know I have been pretty obsessed with making soups, stews, and chowders. I just can't help it. The temperature dropped so quickly here in Western Washington. We had about 6 wonderful weeks of summertime with temps in the 80's a lot of the time. Then it was like someone just flipped a switch and the temps dropped into the 50's and now 40's! To me, when it is that cold outside, there is nothing better than a nice warm bowl of soup that warms you to your toes. So when I was deciding what to make for Food Star Friday I knew it was going to have to be something soupy or stewy.
Tyler is one of my favorite Food Network Stars. He is the chef guest for the FoodBuzz Festival in San Francisco today thru the 6th. I wanted to go sooooo bad. But I am working toward going to the BlogHer Food Blog '12 Conference in Seattle June 6th through the 8th, so no go for this girl. I knew this would be the perfect time for me to make this stew, it is one of my favorites.
This is the recipe I modified for my Pork Stew so if you haven't yet, check that one out too. It is guaranteed to fill you up and keep you warm!
Season your beef cubes with a good amount of salt and pepper
Toss the little beauties into some flour, making sure to shake off the excess before you pop them into the pot.
Get them nice and browned all over yummmmm I want some!
Next is my favorite part (apart from eating it) add a whole bottle, yes you heard me a WHOLE bottle of your favorite dry red wine. I used a Cabernet.
Once your little beef beauties have sucked up some of that wine, add your herbs and all the other yumminess.
Then in goes the beef stock and all those glorious mushrooms.
The result? Some of the best darn beef stew around!!
I apologize for the poor picture quality. Cooking with one hand and taking pictures with the other just doesn't work very well. But hopefully you can still see how wonderful this stew is.
The Ultimate Beef Stew
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bottle good quality dry red wine
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
- 1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2 (I sliced them)
- 1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Crusty bread to sop up the broth
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste,bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place in bowls with the crusty bread.
Serves 4 to 6