Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Beef Stew

It's very hard to make beef stew look good in a picture, which is why I left this one itty bitty. My mom gave me a cookbook for Christmas with some of her recipes in it already, and blank cards to add my own favorites.  I've been looking forward to eating some beef stew for days, and kept running into timing problems. But finally, I made the stew, two nights ago, and now I'm eating stew every meal. I used mom's beef with barley recipe and adapted it a tiny bit.  I grab and chop eveyrthing in handfuls, so I'm not even going to try to put amounts on the recipe.

Beef Stew with Farro (adapted from mom's Crybaby Stew)
  • Stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
  • Strong red wine
  • Garlic, diced
  • Bay leaf (x2)
  • Herbs de provance
  • Flour
  • Salt, pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Beef stock or boullion 
  • Onion, cut very coarsely
  • Carrots, chopped coarsely
  • Potatoes (waxy yukons, or russet are fine), cubed
  • Farro or barley
  • Frozen peas
  1. Place stew meat in a shallow pyrex and cover in a couple cups of red wine (I used a Malbec). Add bay leaves and a few diced cloves of garlic to the mix. Cover and let sit for a few hours, or refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, some salt, pepper and herbs de provance. 
  3. Heat up a few tbls of oil in a heavy pot (oven safe) or dutch oven to medium. Preheat oven to 300F. 
  4. Coat each piece of meat in the flour mixture, then brown on all sides in the pot.  Reserve the wine marinade. 
  5. Add the onion and sautee for another 7 minutes or so, then add the carrots and potato. Deglaze the bottom of the pot, adding the wine mixture and scrapping the bottom well. Add the broth, a couple hand fulls of farro or barley, and put in the oven for 3 hours or until done. Check at about 1 hour and stir the pot well, making sure it's not boiling and causing things to stick on the bottom. Turn heat down to 275F if it is. 
For a thicker, more gravy like stew, when you check it at one hour, slowly mix in a flour/water mixture to thicken. When it's done, the meat will fall apart on your spoon, and you wont be able to stand the yummy smells anymore. When you take it out of the oven, stir in a few hand fulls of frozen peas. Serve piping hot with some hearty bread. Yumm!

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