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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beef Stew


Beef Stew

Ingredients

2.5 pounds beef chuck roast or venison rump roast or a combination thereof, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 large ribs celery, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped into large pieces
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds baby yellow potatoes, cut into quarters or eights
12 ounces dark beer
1 quart homemade chicken stock (or beef stock)
Parsley, about 10 stalks, bundled with cooking twine, plus more for garnish

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium high until very hot. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, then brown the meat in two batches, removing the meat to a bowl as it finishes. Take the time to really brown the pieces for maximum flavor.

Add the carrots, celery, onion and 1 tablespoon salt to the fat in the pan. Cook over medium high, stirring occasionally, until barely soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the marjoram, thyme, rosemary and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, garlic and potatoes and stir to incorporate. Finally, add the beef and any accumulated juices back to the pot and combine. Top with the parsley bundle. Pour in the beer and stock.

Cover the pot with a tight lid, put it in the preheated oven and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove parsley bundle and fish out the bay leaves. Serve.


NOTES

This recipe is perfection. I never even liked beef stew until I made my own. This one is stunningly good.

One note about consistency: if you want it thicker, either boil it for a bit after it gets out of the oven or thicken it with cornstarch:water slurry at a 1:1 ratio (i.e., 1 tbsp:1 tbsp).

4 comments:

Daniel said...

Couldn't agree more on your choice of meats, and your choice to leave simple food simple. :)

But I had a question for you on the cornstarch you used to thicken the stew. Do you prefer it to using simple flour? Does the stew hold up better, texture-wise, with cornstarch when reheated for leftovers? Just curious whether one is better than the other.

As always, thanks for posting yet another clear winner of a recipe Melissa!!

Dan @ Casual Kitchen

Melissa said...

Thanks, Dan!

As for the cornstarch, it hadn't crossed my mind to have a preference. I use cornstarch slurry out of habit from when I first learned how to thicken things when I was first learning to cook... is the flour a better choice? I imagine so. Funny that hadn't occurred to me.

LadyJay said...

Yum! I absolutely adore soups and stews and this looks delish!!! Guess what's for dinner??? LOL Thank you so much for sharing. Once I get the hang of blogging I will post some of my families recipes to share too :-)

Melissa said...

Thanks LadyJay!