What satisfying meal can take away the winter time blues? Beef Stew is the answer. Loaded with tender chunks of beef and chunky vegetables like carrots, mushrooms and potatoes in a rich brown, tomato-based gravy. What more could a cold winter day ask for even on your day off. Nothing like something cooking low and slow, adding a wonderful aroma throughout your home.
Growing up, Beef Stew was one of my Dad’s favorite meals. Mom made this meal quite often and usually served the stew with homemade cornbread. Dad being a Southern man, cornbread was required at every meal. I have adapted this recipe from my Mom’s and I think she would be proud. Beef Stew is ‘Yummy for the Tummy.” What is your favorite cold weather meal in your family?
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 t. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 t. black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. canola or vegetable oil
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery or coarsely chopped
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 – 8oz. pkg. white or brown mushrooms, quartered, cut smaller if large
3 cups peeled, diced red or Yukon gold potatoes
1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 T. sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
¼ t. dried thyme
¼ t. dried oregano
¼ t. dried basil
1/8 t. ground allspice
1 – 14 oz. can beef broth
1 cup red wine, Merlot is recommended
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
In a large plastic bag or large bowl combine beef, salt, pepper and flour. Shake or stir until meat is well coated.
Heat oil in a 5 – 6qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add seasoned beef and sauté until browned on all sides.
Once meat is browned, add carrots, celery, leeks, onion, and garlic, cook and stir for about 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, cocoa powder, thyme, oregano, basil, and allspice. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Stir in beef broth and red wine. Cover and let simmer slowly, stirring occasionally to ensure stew is not sticking, about 1 ½ hours.
Add quartered mushrooms and diced potatoes, cook, stirring occasionally for another hour or until potatoes and meat are tender.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with parsley garnish and crusty bread for sopping up the gravy.