As many of you know, I tend toward a vegetarian diet. My body feels better, and I feel better about my choices when I don’t choose meat. That said… there are a few times of the year when I simply can’t help myself. One of those times is right NOW. I feel compelled through a will greater than my own to make this amazing beef stew once a year. My husband loves it and lucky for him, this recipe makes a huge batch. We can have it for dinner one night and throw a few more servings in the freezer for snowy or blustery winter days. Once you have tried it, you’ll be hooked!
First,get your helpers out for peeling and chopping.
Second, get out your Amity Farmhouse Cookbook and turn to page 9. Here’s what it will say:
Beef & Vegetable Stew
2 T olive oil
6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 medium onions, chopped
6 carrots, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
4 parsnips, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
12 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced thick
2 T sugar
1 ½ C beef stock
1 ½ C Burgundy or other full-bodied wine
2 T butter
2 T red currant jelly
4 t fresh thyme leaves
8 small new potatoes, halved
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
½ C chopped flat leaf parsley
2 C fresh or frozen peas
Preheat oven to 350º. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the bacon, and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is nice and crispy.
Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a flame-proof casserole. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet and brown the beef in the same pan, in small batches, over medium heat. Sprinkle the beef with black pepper as it is browning. Transfer beef to casserole with bacon.
Place the onion, carrots, parsnips and mushrooms into the same skillet. Sprinkle them with sugar and sauté over medium-high heat to caramelize them a little, 6-8 minutes. Try not to let them cook all the way through at this point.
Remove the veggies and set aside (don’t add them to the meat dish yet). Add the stock and wine to the skillet and bring up to a boil. Scrape up any bits left from the meat. Swirl in the butter, current jelly and thyme. If you don’t have currant jelly, just use any clear jelly. This time I used wonderful pinot gris jelly my sister made!
Cook for 1 minute and add the meat back to the sauce. Add the potatoes and garlic to the baking dish and bring the whole thing to a boil on the stove top. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven and add the reserved veggies, chopped tomatoes and all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Stir gently, adjust the salt & pepper and return the casserole to the oven. Bake uncovered for another 45 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
Add the peas and return to the oven for another 6 minutes. Remove from the oven for the last time, garnish with the rest of the parsley and enjoy. Serves 8.
Couple of notes:
- Because I don’t eat a lot of meat, I think I only used one pound of “stew meat”. Your batch might look a bit meatier.
- I didn’t have any parsnips today so I used wonderful, fresh cauliflower that is in season all over the place.
- There was a can of roasted, chopped tomatoes in the pantry, so I used that instead of fresh tommys.