Friday, August 9, 2013

Home-style Beef Stew

Are you guys watching Shark Week?

Don't act like you're not. We all watch it, because it's awesome. I'm obsessed with Shark Week and sharks. Sharks are amazing and powerful and still so mysterious.

If I were a little better at this blogging game, I would have made a Shark Week inspired meal this week. Or better yet, a shark inspired cocktail. My shark inspired cocktail would be called "Shark Bait BREW-haha" and it would have Landshark beer in it. HAHA GET IT?! Shark?! BREW?!

I shouldn't quit my day job.

What I did make this week was this yummy Home-style Beef Stew. The mornings and evenings are getting a lovely crispness to them here in New England, and I was craving a nice home-cooked, heart-warming meal.

I have had a bit of a crazy week, so I actually made this stew on SUNDAY and kept it stored in an airtight container in the fridge and cooked it up for dinner on TUESDAY. I have to say, the longer it stayed tucked away in the fridge, the more the flavors melded together and the more delicious this stew became.

The stew is a breeze to pull together. Start by chopping and dicing 1 medium yellow onion, 2 large carrots, 1 medium turnip, and 2 stalks of celery.

In a large stock pot, heat up some olive oil and butter over medium heat, then brown a bunch of stew meat on all sides until browned. Beautiful! Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pot, juices and all, saute the onions and a big clove of minced garlic. Stir constantly so the garlic doesn't burn!

After some time has passed, you will want to add a dollop of tomato paste and a whole container of beef stock or broth (low sodium variety is best, so we control the salt, not the broth man). Return the beef to the pot as well.

Season the stew with a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, and pep-dawg. Boil it. Lower the heat. Cover the pot and walk away. I'm talking a whole hour and a half (stirring occasionally).

Scurry back to the kitchen an hour and a half later and plop the turnips, carrots, and celery into the pot. Actually, don't plop them in. The stew will be hot and a "plop" usually comes with a "splatter" and that might result in burns. I don't want you to get hurt. So, rather, gently add them in.


30 minutes later, and it's time to finish it off with some parsley. At this point the stew should be nice and thick and completely irresistible!

Serve over mashed potatoes, because this meal is built on the principle of comfort food (and nothing is more comforting than mashed potatoes).

Here's what you need for Home-style Beef Stew* (Print Recipe!)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds stew meat, cut into smaller pieces if desired
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces tomato paste
4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped fine
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Mashed potatoes for serving

Here's what you do

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup or stock pot. Add the butter. Once melted, add the stew meat in batches. Season with salt and pepper and sear on all sides to brown. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion and the garlic to the pot. Cook 4 to 5 minutes until golden and translucent, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the tomato paste to the garlic and onions. Stir around until melted. Pour in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for one and a half to two hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the carrots, celery, and turnip. Season again with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and allow to simmer 30 more minutes. At this point the stew should be nice and thick. If it is too thick, thin out with a few tablespoons of beef broth.

Stir in the parsley and serve over mashed potatoes in big bowls. Sprinkle with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, for garnish.

If you made the stew ahead of time, allow to cool completely after adding in the parsley. Then, transfer to a big Tupperware or covered Pyrex dish. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat the stew in a big pot on the stove top until hot and steamy throughout.

*Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman



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