The chapter we call winter is finally coming to a close. And while I’m super excited to welcome spring, I’ll definitely miss those warm stick-to-your-rib meals that we get to enjoy during those cold months. One of my favorites is this hearty beef stew. It’s a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been making for close to 10 years now, and for good reason – because it’s absolutely delicious.
I love taking a tough cut of beef like a chuck roast and turning it into the tender chunks that melt in your mouth. The addition of red wine to the stew adds such wonderful richness and depth of flavor, and really compliments and brings out all the wonderful flavors in the beef. Red potatoes, carrots, and peas also come to the party for a dip in the tub. Troublemakers.
It makes a large pot full that is plenty for supper one evening, and then enough leftovers for several lunches worth. And like with all stews and soups, it just gets better as time progresses. It also freezes wonderfully for an easy meal when you don’t feel like cooking. Definitely one of our favorites!
Hearty Beef Stew
3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes
Salt and ground pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine (Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup frozen peas
Season beef generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 min). Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional min.). Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 Tbsp oil to pan, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 mins). Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 sec. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 min.). Add wine, scraping the bottom and stirring until thick and flour is dissolved.
Slowly add the beef broth, stirring constantly, scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan. Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer. Add beef, return to simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
Add potatoes and carrots, leave uncovered, increase heat to medium and cook for additional hour.
Add the peas, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 min.
Discard bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
SOURCE: The New Best Recipe by America’s Test Kitchen