Beef Stew, 2 Ways

Nothing is more warming than a steaming bowl of beef stew.  These two recipes — one more “classic,” one slightly fancier — will do the trick on a cold wintry night.

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
adapted from Real Simple

  • 4  pounds Beef for Stew
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup  olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 2  large onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 1  6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1  cup dry red wine
  • 1  pound potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2  pound baby carrots (about 2 cups)
  • 2  cups beef broth
  • 1  teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the cooker.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the cooker. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, broth, thyme, and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 1/2 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Add the peas and heat through.

 

Beef Stew in Red Wine SauceAdapted for kosher cooking from a recipe in Food & Wine by Jacques Pepin

  • 2 pounds Minute London Broil or Chuck Roast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 15 cipollini or pearl onions
  • 15 cremini mushrooms
  • 15 baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  1. Cut the meat into 8 pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron pot that is attractive enough for the table. Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.
  3. Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.
  4. Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid properly reduced. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.
  5. For the garnishes, peel 15 cipollini or pearl onions, wash 15 cremini mushrooms and peel 15 baby carrots.
  6. Combine the onions, mushrooms, and carrots in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a good dash each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; at this point, there should be practically no water left. Uncover and cook over high heat, sautéing the vegetables until nicely browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.
  7. To serve, mix some of the vegetables into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top as a garnish. Add a little chopped fresh parsley and serve.
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