Beef Stew

Beef Stew seems like one of those really intimidating dishes to make. The fact that it takes at least a day of lead time doesn't help the misconception that it's a expert-level dish reserved for seasoned cooks. But, it's really not as difficult as it appears. Like every other stew, it's really low fuss and high on the comfort factor. And for busy bees, there's a slow cooker variation as well! You prep everything the night before, pop it into the slow cooker first thing in the morning, and you'll have a hearty dinner when you get home!

Ingredients (feeds 5-6 pax):
1 kg beef chuck, cut to 1" cubes
1 tsp dried thyme (or 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
1/3 cup all-purpose plain flour
3 potatoes, cut to 1" cubes
500 gm mushrooms, sliced roughly (I used a mix of portobello, swiss browns and white buttons)
2 carrots, cut to 1" cubes
2 ribs celery, cut to 1" cubes
1 medium onion, cut to 1cm cubes
1 shallot, minced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
3 tbsp olive oil

2 cups red wine (use a drinkable full-bodied young red, like a burgundy or bordeaux)
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, diced to 1cm cubes
2 ribs celery, diced to 1cm cubes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 large onion, diced to 1cm cubes

1) Combine the beef with the marinade for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. To cook, remove beef from marinade, reserving the strained marinade for later.

2) Just before cooking, lightly salt and flour the beef. Pop onto a pan with olive oil to brown it all over on medium-high heat. Do not flour the beef until just before you pop it onto the pan. Also, don't crowd the pan, otherwise the heat gets dissipated. Work in batches (I worked with 4 batches) if necessary, and set aside the browned beef for later.

3) Leaving behind 3 tbsp of the beef drippings, fry onions, shallots and garlic until translucent/fragrant, about 1 minute. 

4) Add carrots and celery, and continue to fry, about 1 minute.

5) Add mushrooms and continue to fry, about 1 minute.

6) Lower heat and add tomato paste, frying until fragrant, about 1 minute.

7) Add strained marinade, increase heat to medium-high, and bubble until reduced by half.

8) Return beef to pan.

9) Add beef stock and thyme, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer for the next 6 hours. If using the slow cooker, combine steps 3 to 9 by tossing everything into the slow cooker after the browning of the beef, and put on 'automatic'. Throw in the potatoes right when you've gotten home to cook them through.

10) In the last half hour, increase heat to medium and add in the potatoes.

11) Serve with a sprinkle of paprika or sour cream if preferred.


Dumpling Love (@cscc28) said...

Ooo I've never actually marinated the beef like that before for my stews..gonna try it next time! The stew looks soooo good!

Bern said...

ooh thanks...rem to use homemade beef stock...it makes all the difference!! :)

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