I'm just a busy wife and mom who loves to cook (and hates to clean up afterward), balancing the many hats I wear and trying to look cool, calm, and collected while doing it...

Oh, and I rarely measure anything when I cook, so consider yourself warned. Love good food. Try new things. Eat to your heart's content.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Super Duper Guest Post From My Husband... Dave's Beef Stew!!

Hi, Megan's husband Dave here.  I don't cook often, but when I do, it's the grill, or soups and stews.  I know, weird..., but I learned soups and stews from my mom during all those Sierra Nevada cold winters while growing up.   This one is one of my favorites because it's so hearty and the family loves it.

WARNING: This is not a quick meal, plan on a minimum of 4 hours of cook time!

It's fall-aparty tender meaty goodness and worth the wait, trust me!  Your house will smell amazing to boot!

Dave's Beef Stew

2 1/2 lbs beef chuck  cut into 1 to 2" cubes (I like to get the short ribs, but stew meat is fine)
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium onions (or 1 large)
5 cloves garlic crushed
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup flour (or enough to cover meat)
8 cups beef broth (2 32oz boxes)
6 sprigs parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 lbs quartered red potatoes (or smaller potatoes cut in half)
6 medium carrots cut in to 1" pieces
4 celery stalks cut into 1" pieces
28 oz can of San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes quartered
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Dash Worcestershire Sauce

For this recipe I recommend using a enameled cast iron dutch oven.  It's really perfect for this sort of thing, and nothing beats slow braised beef!

-Preheat oven to 285 degrees.
-Cut the meat into 1" to 2" cubes if they aren't already cut.  Try to be consistent here, I prefer bigger cubes.
-Season beef with salt and pepper.
-Heat vegetable oil in the dutch oven and sear the meat, turning only once (about 4 minutes a side). Don't forget to season the other side once you flip!
-Transfer the meat to a plate, discard used oil. (If there are any meaty bits stuck to the bottom, leave them there, that's flavor, baby!)
-Add butter and onions to dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until lightly browned (about 5 minutes)
-Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute
-Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute
-Add beef back to dutch oven and sprinkle flour to cover meat.  Cook until lightly toasted (about 5 minutes)
-Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
-Tie parsley, thyme and bay leaves together (or use a spice bag, much easier) and add to the dutch oven.
-Season with 2 tsp of salt and a dash of Worcestershire.
-Transfer to oven for 2 hours at 285.
-Remove from oven, add potatoes, celery, carrots and tomatoes, place back in the oven for 1 hour covered.
-Remove from oven and simmer over the stove top uncovered on medium heat until liquid reduces and vegetables are completely tender, skimming the fat as necessary.
-Remove the herb bundle.
-Add 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with cheddar drop biscuits and let me know what you think!