Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe

I love a good beef stew - and I'm proud to say that my beef stew recipe is one of the best I've had.  Now that Sam has braces, I'm making lots of "soft" meals these days, and this recipe couldn't be better.  This beef stew is a very hearty meal, complete with carrots, parsnips and turnips. The spice blend I put together really compliments the beef and my house smells amazing when I make this.  Also, the beef is so tender it just melts in your mouth.  This is a great dish to make with Homemade Broth if you happen to have it on hand, if not, your favorite beef broth will work great (I use Safeway Kitchens Beef Broth) or even chicken broth.   We love this stew with grilled flat bread on the side.

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe

Olive oil
2 lbs Beef Bottom Round Roast or other beef stew meat (Boneless Beef Chuck Cross Rib Roast is especially excellent!)
3-6 carrots
2 medium parsnips
2 medium turnips
1 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves (this will go in the stew last)

1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
4 bay leaves

4 cups beef broth (one 32 oz. container)
Salt to taste after tasting added beef broth

3 heaping tbsp unbleached flour whisked with 1/3 cup water for slurry

Sour cream for garnish

To start with, cut the beef into 1" or so bite-size squares and set aside.  Peel the carrots, parsnips, and turnips (for the carrots and parsnips I use a potato peeler, for the turnips, I use my knife).  Chop the carrots, parsnips and turnips into 1" or bite-size pieces and set aside.  Rough chop a handful of fresh parsley leaves to get 1 cup worth and set aside.  Mix all of the spices together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. 

Drizzle a good amount of olive oil into a large pot, then over High heat, add the beef.  Wait a minute, then use a wooden spoon to move the beef around the pot and brown it.  While the beef is cooking, it will release a lot of liquid into the pot.  Cook the beef through, then add the spices and bay leaves and give everything a good stir with the wooden spoon.  Next, add the carrots, parsnips and turnips and the beef broth and stir it again to mix it all together.  Taste the beef broth before adding any salt to the stew.  Salt to taste.  Wait for it to come to a boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat to Low, and let it simmer for at least 2 hours (preferably 3 hours or longer).

When the 2+ hours are up, add the flour and water to a small bowl and use a small whisk to whisk the flour with the water to make a slurry to thicken the stew.  Whisk it until it is smooth with no lumps  Remove the pot lid and pour the slurry in, using the wooden spoon to gently stir the stew as the slurry mixes with it.  Turn the heat back up to High and stir it for a couple of minutes to thicken it a bit.  Turn it back to Low and add the chopped parsley leaves to the stew, stirring it again.  Remove the bay leaves at this point.  Leave it on Low without the lid until you're ready to serve the stew.  Serve it in large bowls and put a dollop of sour cream on it.   Serves 4-6 people as a main course. 

We like our beef stew with grilled flat bread on the side.  To make grilled flat bread, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on one side of the flat bread and add it to a hot grill pan, oil/salt side down, for 3 minutes.  Sprinkle a little more olive oil (no salt this time) on the remaining side, flip it and grill it for 2 minutes.  Remove the flat bread and cut it into triangles.  It's great dipped in the stew!

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