To complement yesterday’s tips about making great stews here is a stew recipe where I applied all of the tips to good results. A simple beef stew is a beautiful thing, browning the meat and onions well, building the beautiful caramelization on the bottom of the pan right into the sauce gives a deep meaty richness.
Stew is even better the next day and freezes beautifully. The next time I make this, I will certainly be doubling it. Don’t forget to check out my tips on making great stew.
Beef and Red Wine Stew Recipe(serves 2-4)
Turn your oven on to 250F. Pat the stewing meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with a teaspoon of the oil, just enough to coat the pieces. Heat a large skillet to medium and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the meat to the pan (if your pan is small do this browning step in two batches so you don't crowd the meat, you may also need to add more oil). Brown the meat on all sides and remove to a dutch oven big enough to cook the stew. Add the onions and cook, until they start to brown, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir for another two minutes. If there is no visible oil left add another tablespoon of oil followed by the flour.
Stir until there is no visible white left from the flour. Stir in the red wine. Use a wooden spin to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Allow to cook until the wine has reduced by half, stirring frequently. Transfer everything to the pot with the meat. Add bay, thyme, rosemary and enough stock to just cover the meat. Bring to a gentle simmer on the stovetop. Cover and transfer to the oven.
Cook for 3 hours, checking every hour for the tenderness of the meat. Once the meat is almost fork tender add the potatoes and the carrots. Once the meat has reached that lovely tender stage, transfer it back to the stovetop. If it is nice and thick and reduced, add the zucchini and simmer until cooked. Remove the rosemary, thym, bay and garlic clove. If there is too much liquid, simmer uncovered until the stew has reduced and thickened further. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread.