Chunky Beef Stew

From one of our favorite cookbooks for the past three years…The Ski House Cookbook (warm winter dishes for cold weather fun) by Tina Anderson and Sarah Pinneo.  Drew told me to get this cookbook and it’s become a favorite of mine and our customers. With so many warming winter recipes, like this one for a slow-cooked Beef Stew, it would make a great gift for friends with (or without) a ski house!

From the authors: This recipe uses the oven as a slow cooker.  Browning the meat is a must for building flavor in a stew, but we decided we’d rather not clean two pans–one for browning and then the slow cooker.  Instead, this dish cooks in the same pot you use for browning.  Most beef stew recipes also require adding vegetables in a certain sequence at the end of the cooking time, so they don’t turn to mush.  We’ve solved that problem by following a hint from a recipe that appeared in “Cooks Country” magazine.  Our vegetables are dry-roasted in the oven alongside the simmering stew.  After many hours in the oven, they are still toothsome.

Chunky Beef Stew

(Serves 6)

beef-stew-photo-for-postIngredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • one (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • one (16-ounce can) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 large red potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 3 to 4 large carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Directions:

1. Adjust the oven racks to accommodate a Dutch oven or large covered pot. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Generously salt and pepper the beef. Brown the meat, in stages, so as not to crowd the pan. Each batch should take about 10 minutes.

3. Remove the browned beef to a plate and add the onions to the pot.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, flour and soy sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and scrape any browned meat bits off the bottom and sides of the pan.

4. Return the beef to the pot, add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Set the oven timer for 6 hours.

5. Chop the potatoes and carrots into 1 1/2 -inch cubes. Pile the vegetables into the smallest covered baking dish that will accommodate them. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle the thyme and rosemary on top, and stir to coat. Cover and place in the oven.

6. After 6 hours, remove the meat and vegetables from the oven. Stir the peas into the stew. Divide the vegetables among 6 shallow bowls. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the beef stew over the vegetables and serve hot.

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