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Visitor’s Beef Stew

November 8, 2011

Last week I was in the mood for beef stew. Usually I would go to a cook book or online to find a recipe but this time I said “No!” I know what I’m doing, I now how to make beef stew, why don’t I just trust myself? So I did. If it turned out to be a disaster we had plenty of peanut butter and jelly… Fortunately, we didn’t need it! This beef stew turned out better than the recipes I’ve used in the past!

I think this would be a great thing to make over Thanksgiving weekend. Perfect for when you might have unexpected family popping in, or need something to warm you up after putting up the Christmas lights. I know it’s hard to plan when you have visitors/family arriving at different times, this would be great to have ready and waiting to welcome them home. I know that I would appreciate some comfort food after driving 9 hours back to Michigan (hint, hint, Mom – haha) So here’s my recipe for you to try:

Ingredients:

1-1.5 lbs of stew beef (or cut your beef into 1-2″ cubes)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup flour (I actually used a little less)
1/4 cup cornstarch (again, I used slightly less)
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks (is there a word for this? probably…)
2 medium yellow onions, cut into chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Red wine, I used about half a bottle (I suggest you drink the other half while things cook, why not?)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cups of beef stock
2 cups of water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme (dried)
1/2 tsp rosemary
Egg noodles (optional)

Directions:

1 – Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Combine flour and cornstarch; coat the meat in the mixture. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the pot. Sear the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. I did two batches and added the second tbsp of oil between batches. Remove the beef from the pot and drain on a paper towel.


2 – Add onions, garlic, wine and cider vinegar to the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any brown bits of goodness. Cook until onions are soft and wine is reduced by about half.

3 – Add celery, carrots, beef, and salt and pepper to the pot. Add the beef stock, water, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer. Allow the pot to simmer at least 2 hours ( I left mine for about 5 hours). If you prefer your veggies a little more crisp, then reserve 1/2 to 2/3 for later. You still want to add some at this point to give the broth flavor. I prefer my vegetables to pretty much melt in my mouth when eating stew, so I didn’t mind cooking them for 6+ hours.

4 – Add potatoes (and remaining veggies if you reserved some). Simmer another hour, or until you’re ready to eat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves before serving. I like to serve my beef stew over egg noodles because, well, because I love egg noodles. But also because they are just right for soaking up the thick broth of the stew. I like my stew to be pretty thick, not quite like gravy but headed in that direction. This recipe was the perfect consistency, I think because of the flour-cornstarch combination.

How do you like your beef stew? Do you have any suggestions to make mine better?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rose permalink
    November 8, 2011 10:20 am

    Melissa –
    This looks really delicious – and yes, perfect for Christmas decorating! We’ll miss you guys at Thanksgiving!

  2. Ann Marie permalink
    November 8, 2011 12:34 pm

    I’ll be popping in after you get back…unexpectedly. Anything for a taste of this delicius meal!

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