Beef Stew

When it’s as cold as it is now, I always want something hearty, like a chili or a stew.  Since I made chili on Friday, today was the day to make the stew.

I was looking for an easy and quick stew recipe, but seems like those don’t exist.  But I like a lot of Ina Garten’s recipes, and wanted to try her stew. Here’s the recipe to the original: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/parkers-beef-stew-recipe/index.html

It turns out I can’t really follow directions.  That, and my dutch oven isn’t as big as hers, so I had to make alterations to the original recipe in terms of quantities and herbs (I really dislike rosemary – to me, it makes everything taste like mold).

So here is my version, inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe:

Ingredients:
2 lb of beef
2 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in 1/2
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 cups or 1 (14 1/2-ounce can) chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
tomatoes (I used 1 14 oz. can, but if you have fresh ones, that’ll be great too)
Red wine (I used a half bottle of what I had already opened)

Steps:
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight. A few hours would be fine too, or even a few days, but not more than 2.

The next day, or in a few days (yes, I was too tired on Friday to cook this in addition to the chili I already had going) preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut up all the veggies, drain the meat in a colander but save the liquid. Dredge the beef in flour and brown the meat.
In the dutch oven, saute the onions and carrots. Then add mushrooms and potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes or so until the onions are softened.

Add the browned meat to the veggies. Add the stock and canned tomatoes (I used these ’cause I don’t have any sun-dried ones).

Reduce the wine and sieve it into the dutch oven.

Bring everything to a boil. Once everything is boiling, put the lid on and place into the oven for about 2 hours, or until everything is fork-tender.
Note: I added my own spices: coriander, paprika, bay leaves, and several spice blends (Balti, Chili con Carne, and Southwest) from Penzey’s spices.

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