February 6, 2010
When you’re stuck in the house during a major snow storm, you definitely want to make sure that your kitchen is well stocked with ingredients for warm comfort foods! As I write now cuddled up in the house with nearly 20 inches (if not more) of snow on the ground outside, I’m enjoying all the snacks one would need on a snowy day – cookies, fruit, popcorn, hot tea, and warm soup.
Little did I know when I prepared a hearty beef stew last Saturday, during another snowy day inside, that I would be snowed in once again while writing this blog post. So for those of you who may be snowed in as well, perhaps you have some beef, broth and vegetables on hand to whip up this filling stew. Regardless, beef stew makes a deliciously warm and cozy meal for any winter day.
I hardly ever eat beef, but in preparing a meal for a meat-loving friend, I decided to try my hand at the classic beef stew and share FlavorDiva.com’s first beef dish with you. I started the stew with browning the pieces of beef in a little oil and then setting the meat aside to lay the foundation for the dish with a sauté of onions and garlic. Next, adding the meat back in along with beef broth, tomatoes, chopped vegetables, and spices, I lowered the heat and simmered all of the ingredients for one to two hours. This slow cooking gives beef stew a tender bite and allows the flavors to intensify and permeate throughout the pot.
Actually, becasue of the long simmering of the stew, this is a great dish to prepare and then leave the low heat to do it’s work while you relax and watch a movie or cozy up with a book. I hope this recipe gives you a little inspiration to prepare a warming stew for your next snowy (or simply cold) day inside. Enjoy!
Beef Stew1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. stew beef (chuck or other stew cut)
1 tablespoon flour (optional)
2-1/2 cups beef stock
1 28-oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes (keep juice)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
5 carrots, roughly chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (red or yukon suggested)
1 cup frozen green peas
Heat oil in a heavy soup pot or dutch oven. Season beef with salt and pepper and add to pot to brown on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside. Leaving only 3 tablespoons of oil, drain off the remaining oil from the pot and discard. In the 3 tablespoons of oil, sauté the onions and garlic for about 8 minutes. Then, add the meat back into the pot along with the tomatoes (chopped and with its juice), carrots, potatoes, broth and seasoning.
Bring the stew to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. After an hour, add the frozen peas and taste the stew for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper or other seasonings if desired. Simmer for another 45 – 50 minutes. Serve with a side of cornbread, rolls or over rice.