Monday, November 19, 2012

Beef Stew

This weekend was drizzly, and the wind was cold. I didn't mind it because I had no place to go, and because I made this stew. It was warm and filling and I ate it cuddled on the couch, wrapped in a blanket with family members scattered across the living room. The way a stew should be eaten. It's the perfect meal for a chilly day. The flavors of this classic stew are so delicious and comforting. I love all of the texture it's chunky and chewy and has lots of color and flavor. Serve with homemade rolls and make sure you make enough for second helpings!

Beef Stew

3 lbs chuck roast cut into, 1 1/2 -2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
6-8 small to medium sized red potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp Minute tapioca

After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large oven safe pot, heat oil over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Sear half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through. Remove the meat and let it rest on a plate while you repeat this process with the rest of the beef. Remove the second batch of meat and add it to the plate.

Leaving the beef drippings in the pot return it to medium heat and saute onions with a bit of salt till the onions are translucent and fragrant. Add tomato past to onions and cook it stirring constantly for 2 minutes. The mixture may get brown, and might even look burnt, that's OK just let it cook. Slowly whisk in beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove browned bits. Add thyme and bay leaves.

Bring liquid to a boil and add the tapioca whisking to incorporate. Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover the pot and cook in preheated oven for 3 - 4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

When the stew is finished cooking discard the bay leaves and place pot on the stove over low heat. It will stay warm until you're ready to serve.

*This can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Follow all the steps until you are putting the meat and veggies back into the pot and instead add everything to a crock pot. Cook on high for 5 - 6 hours.

*This can also be prepared on the stove top. Follow all the steps until you place your covered pot into the oven. Instead cover you pot with a tight fitting lid and let it simmer on a medium low heat for 4 - 5 hours, until the meat and veggies are done to your liking.

*Some grocers have prepackaged "stew meat", you could also use that to avoid spending time cutting up a roast.

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