It is raining outside! And it is cold and gloomy. We have our wood stove going full blast and I am thinking a nice beef stew would be perfect for dinner tonight!
When I was growing up my Mom did most of the cooking but my Dad also liked to cook and he made the best stews. Actually, beef stews, soups and chili were his specialties. When he made stew he would start about noonish, usually on a Saturday and he would have a big chuck roast that he would cut up, brown and add a lot of different vegetables. I mean he would add a lot of vegetables. Carrots, celery, onions, canned corn, canned green beans, canned tomatoes, cabbage and turnips. Oh, do I remember the turnips and how much I did not like them. I still don’t.
When my Mom and Dad got married my Mom did not know how to cook, she was 16 and Dad was 23. Mom was the youngest and the baby of her family with four sisters and a brother so she didn’t have to do much in the kitchen and was more interested in the cows, pigs and whatever was happening on the farm. Dad told us that Mom didn’t know how to boil water without burning it. But she learned and was a good cook. He, on the other hand had been on his own from the time he was 16 and learned to do his cooking over camp fires or from the chuck-wagon cooks on the trails of herding cattle and shearing sheep. Oh, and he could make the best biscuits! He showed me exactly how to make his biscuits so many times but I just could not get the hang of it and they never looked like his.
So today I am going to do a pot of beef stew my way. I promise you there will not be any turnips in it! I kinda think Dad would enjoy it though. Maybe with some good homemade cornbread which was another of his favorites but I add sun-dried tomatoes to mine.
- Serves: 8-10
- Serving size: 1 Cup
- Calories: 450
- Fat: 16.4
- Saturated fat: 8.75
- Trans fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 23.5
- Sugar: 4.94
- Sodium: 254
- Fiber: 2.87
- Protein: 50.2
- Cholesterol: 103
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smokey paprika
- 3 pounds of lean boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons oil (I use coconut or avocado which will handle a high heat)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped onions (2 medium)
- 4 cups hot beef stock, fresh or canned
- 2 cups red wine
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups carrots, cut into 2” pieces (12-14 oz.)
- 2 cups whole, small Crimini mushrooms (12 oz.)
- 1-1/2 pounds small 2-3 inch fingerling potatoes, or yellow potatoes cut in 2” chunks
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- In a flat dish or pie plate mix the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Add the pieces of beef and using a fork turn each piece, dredging with the flour.
- In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan heat the oil over medium heat and add the beef chunks a few at a time in batches, do not crowd the pan. Remove the beef chunks as they brown and drain on paper towels and reserve.
- After all the chunks of beef are browned add the chopped onions to the oil in the pan and over low heat cook until just light golden brown. You may need to add a little more oil if it looks dry.
- Add the reserved browned beef, the beef stock, wine, tomato paste and garlic; bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 2-3 hours, (stir occasionally and if needed add more broth or water), until the beef is tender but not falling apart. Add the carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Bring to a boil again, then reduce to simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the tip of a paring knife slides in/out of the vegetables with only a little resistance. Do not over cook the vegetables as they should be firm and not mushy soft when served. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your preference.
- Serve in bowls with freshly made hot cornbread or crusty sourdough bread.