I don’t post many recipes, but decided to share one of my favorites today. One of the best things about living in a four season state is changing your cooking with the weather. We’re covering up the barbecues and firing up our ovens and Crock Pots here in Michigan. My sister Carrie, the family cook, made this beef stew for us once and it immediately became an all-time favorite around here. Not only because it tastes so good, but because it’s pretty much a no-fail recipe!
Carrie’s Beef Stew
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (I use Kame brand because it’s Gluten-Free)
2 bay leaves
1 pound slender carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Add meat to pot; sauté until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Push meat to sides of pot. Reduce heat to medium; add 2 tablespoons oil to pot. Add onions; sauté until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Mix meat into onions. Add 1 cup wine, tomatoes with juices, hoisin sauce, and bay leaves. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and 1 cup wine. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, increase heat to high; boil until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, add cornstarch mixture and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season stew with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving, stirring occasionally.) Transfer stew to large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley; serve.
Okay, so that’s the recipe. Now I don’t know about you, but I always change things up as I go depending on my mood and what I have in the pantry. I like to use lean, thinly sliced steak, I usually make it in a Crock Pot cooking it on low for about 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. I throw in baby carrots sliced in half if I have them, I rarely have fresh parsley around so I skip that or use dry, most of time when I make this all the wine goes in at once, my husband and onions don’t get along so I use onion salt or flakes, and I often don’t get around to the cornstarch. The stew goes great with mashed potatoes or rice. I’ve even made it into a rich soup a couple of times by thinning the stock with a little water and adding frozen chopped vegetables.
The cows in the photo hung out in a pasture near our condo in Jackson Hole. Hmm, their cute little bovine faces are giving me a case of the meat-eating guilt’s, maybe I’ll skip the beef and throw in some tofu next time!