Much of the country is dealing with temperatures lower than we’ve seen in a couple decades. It’s no different here. As I write this it’s –8 degrees with a wind chill of –33. Ridiculous!
Today was one of the days I was thankful I worked from home. Other than some trips to take the dog out, I stayed inside all day. There will be more of the same tomorrow. Another reason I love working from home is if (and that’s a big IF) I have the ingredients for dinner, I can get a head start on it and continue to work while it cooks.
I love a classic beef stew. It’s the perfect cold weather comfort food. I make it only about once a year since my husband isn’t much of a fan. It’s too much to eat myself. I freeze the leftovers in one or two serving portions and eat them throughout the winter months. I’ve tried a few recipes in the slow cooker and they were…fine. This one, however, had my non-stew-eating husband go back for seconds. Everyone should have a foolproof stew recipe. I think I found mine.
Of course it’s from my always-the-first-stop cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I also found another highly reviewed stew recipe of theirs online but it requires some ingredients that I didn’t have (I was not going out in the cold to grocery shop!)and had a couple more steps. Sounds really good – maybe next time. Doesn’t matter – I thought this was delicious. It absolutely hit the spot and will be fantastic warmed up tomorrow.
The recipe is below. A couple notes:
- This takes about 3 hours. It’s only about 45 minutes of hands on work but it’s not something you can whip up when you get home from work unless you eat really late.
- Make sure you really brown the meat. Here’s a link where ATK talks about browning the meat and gives the other stew recipe I mentioned above.
- I used more potatoes and peas. No reason, I like them. Just FYI as you look at the pictures.
Beef Stew from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
- 1 3lb boneless beef chuck roast (mine was called a chuck eye roast), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil ( I definitely used more)
- 2 onions, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (I probably used a little over 2 pounds)
- 4 carrots, sliced thin
- 1 cup frozen peas (I used 1 1/2 cups)
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the beef dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the meat (see link above), about 10 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and brown the rest of the meat and transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the empty pot and turn to medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in the wine, scraping up the browned bits. Stir in the broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef, along with accumulated juices.
Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer the pot to the pre-heated oven. Cook for 1 hour.
Stir in the potatoes and carrots. Cover and continue to cook in the oven until the beef is tender, about 1 hour. Since I added extra potatoes and they were cut pretty big, I added another 10 mins.
Remove from the oven and stir in the frozen peas. Remove bay leaves. Let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We ate it with crusty bread and it was perfect for this cold winter evening.
Look at these two yahoos. I was trying to get a couple shots before eating. No matter the angle, one of them is there to photobomb.