Stew is a great meal because you can do so much with it. You can use beef or even lamb, if you’re adventurous. Chicken stew with biscuit dough on top is another theme you can try. It’s even better the next day. You can cook stew on the stove, in the oven or in a slow cooker. It’s a lot like pot roast. Here’s my recipe, but put your own spin on it, because it’s what you feel like eating.
- 1-2 lbs. of beef cubes. You can cut up a pot roast type of beef, or get it already cut. The more marbleized fat, the better.
- Vegetables – this is a matter of taste. You can pick what is seasonal (butternut squash or fennel bulb or even parsnips). I had carrots and celery on hand, so that’s what I used. Cut them in uniform size so they cook together.
- 1 onion (yellow or white or even red, it’s what you have on hand)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Bouquet garni – a fancy way to say “a bunch of herbs.” I used fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.
- 1-2 cups Red wine, white wine, or a bottle of beer.
- Flour for dusting the meat with 2 tsps. Salty & peppy added for seasoning.
- Oil for cooking – this is not the time for olive oil. It will break down at a high heat so use coconut, grape seed, or canola oil. 2-3 tbsps.
- Chicken broth – beef broth can be used, but the chicken lightens the flavor just a bit.
- Tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
Heat oil in a heavy dutch oven. Dredge the pieces of beef in the flour and brown on all sides in hot oil. Don’t over crowd, you will need to do this in batches. Once browned, set the beef aside.
Add the veggies to the pan (if you need more oil add it) and be sure to get up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tbsp. of flour and mix with the veggies for about a minute. Add 2 tbsps. tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Add the wine or beer (I used beer this time and it worked very well). Put the meat back in and put in the bouquet garni and if you need more liquid, add the broth then cover. Cook on low in the oven or on the stove for 2-3 hours.
If you want, you can add cut potatoes about an hour into the cooking. You can also add frozen peas or green beans about 30 minutes before the stew is done. Salty & Peppy to taste and a sprinkle of parsley when you serve it up. I made sautéed swiss chard with garlic on the side.