Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beef Stew

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Mmmmmmmm, a perfect homestyle comfort food.  I usually like this on a chilly, cloudy day - but today ended up sunny and nice.  Oh well... the stew was still delish.  My husband doesn't like potato so I leave it out.  He likes his portion served over egg noodles and I like mine over mashed potato or brown rice.  There are many different vessels in which to make stew, but I prefer a porcelain coated cast iron dutch oven; one pot, stovetop to oven.

2 pounds stew meat
2 tablespoons light olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons butter (not margarine), divided
1-2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 large carrots, chunked
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 can diced tomato
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tsp italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Rice, potato or pasta for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, salt and pepper.  Coat stew meat well with flour mixture, set aside.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a 5 quart dutch oven over high heat.  Brown stew meat in 2 batches, adding more oil/butter between batches.  If you add all the meat at once it won't brown properly.  Set browned meat aside and add onion, celery carrot.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic, cook for about 1 minute more.  Add red wine, scrape up all the browned bits, and let it reduce by at least half, then add tomatoes, broth and seasoning.  Stir, cover and move to oven.  Cook for about 2 hours, checking for doneness at 1.5 hours.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  If you got the meat coated well before browning, your stew should not need any thickening.  Serve stew over rice, pasta or potato.

~ Enjoy ~

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