Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Basic Beef Stew - Cooking Light

Sometimes all one really wants is the most basic, most memorable comfort food possible!  After a long wedding weekend when a large time was had by all we scraped our way back to Nashville from North Carolina (no easy feat after celebrating for three straight days...and nights) only to return to a house that smelled like home cooked food!  Maggie's mom, Julie, whose cooking I will NEVER turn down, had put beef stew in the crock pot that smelled heavenly.  It smelled so good, in fact, that I simply invited myself over for dinner and enjoyed it myself.  The next day, which I had already taken off work as a much needed "recovery day", was going to be filled with cooking.  This time of year I like to make several pots of soup so that I can put them up in the freezer and pull them out whenever I am in the mood.  After tasting Julie's beef stew I knew I had to add that to my list of soups I would make.  I did a little research, combined several recipes but basically stuck with this one I found in Cooking Light, with the addition of a few spices and of course a beer!

Beef Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound small cremini mushrooms
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
1 can beer
1 bay leaf
2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled white potato (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices carrot (about 12 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 
Add mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. 
Spoon mushrooms into a large bowl. 
Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. 
Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. 
Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. 
 Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. 
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. 
Add browned beef to mushroom mixture. 
Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Add 1 cup wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 
Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. 
Stir in beef mixture. 
Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is just tender.
Stir in potato and carrot.  Add beer, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and rosemary.
Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
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