I have been slowly changing our weekly intake of proteins to lessen the costs of our weekly grocery bills and to widen our appetite for other dishes. We have a non-meat day (meatless Mondays) and I'll cut my Sunday coupons figuring out what meals to make. Expensive and pricey items that have been hard to cut back on are wine, cheese and proteins. Ugh. When did wine, steak and cheese get so expensive? Luckily I had a coupon for meat so I was able to purchase a nice cut of chuck roast. With the colder weather slowly teasing us here in SoCal, I've been dreaming about pot roast, stews, and something hearty with good 'ole meat and potatoes.
There is something about Ina Garten's recipes that are quite enjoyable and so simple at times. However, if you plan on making this meal, plan ahead and figure for at least 3 hours of prep and cooking time. The prep time was rather intensive. I should have prepped my vegetables the night before so when I came home, I could have easily put this together. It approximately took me about an hour or so of cutting and prepping the vegetables and then the cooking time was another 2 hours or so, but the faint and intoxicating smell of slow cooked beef was worth my efforts. Something hearty and delicious. This is a great winter dish and tastes even better the next day, and makes plenty of servings. This would be a great entertaining meal to share during the upcoming holiday season. Enjoy!
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to the Basics
2 1/2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 (750-ml bottle) Cabernet wine (I used TJs 2 buck chuck!)
3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions, (2 onions)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in 1/2
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 (14 ounce) can beef stock
1 large branch fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
In a large Pyrex bowl, place the beef covered with red wine, garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate overnight.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Using a slotted spoon remove the beef from the marinade and place into tho flour bowl. Discard the garlic and bay leaves, and save at least 2 1/2 cups of the marinade. Make sure to completely cover the beef cubes and shake off the excess.
In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and unsalted butter. Saute the bacon pieces until par crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In batches, sear the cubed beef the large dutch oven over medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Add additional oil or butter if needed. Remove the cooked beef cubes from the pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In the same dutch oven, add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and unsalted butter and add the onions and cook on medium heat until they are soft. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stir to combine the garlic and onions. Add the rest of your vegetables - carrots, mushrooms and diced potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Place back the cubed beef and bacon into the pan. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved wine marinade, and beef stock and stir to combine everything together.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper, and nestle rosemary branch into the stew. Make sure all the beef cubes are covered and add additional beef stock if needed. Bring the dutch oven to a simmer and cover the pot. Place in the oven and bake for 60 to 90 minutes, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Make sure to stir once during cooking, and if the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the temperature of the oven to 275 degrees or 250 degrees.
Remove the stew from the oven and place back on the oven. Discard the rosemary branch. Add 1 cup of the stew juices into a Pyrex measuring cup, and whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and mix well. Pour it back into the stew and mix to combine and stir in the frozen peas. Taste for seasonings, and serve warm.
Review: Such a hearty and delicious meal and this definitely hit my meat craving. This makes 6 hefty servings, and I'm freezing half of it for a rainy day. There's nothing like a bowl of beef stew on a cold fall day with some crusty sourdough bread and a nice glass of wine to warm you up. Mmmmm, delicious.