Once the holidays have passed and things aren't as CRAZY, Jeff and I love to spend Sundays making stews and dishes we can use during the rest of the week. When the ability to make a quick meal is difficult, coming home and re-heating a hearty meal is stress-less.
Last year, we found a Cabernet Beef Stew from Harmony Cellars, which was delicious. We have decided that this year we are trying to adapt more recipes and put our spin on the dish. After having lookedup numerous beef stew recipes we decided to use this as a base and add additional vegetables, herbs, pancetta and beef stock. It will take you about an hour for prep and stove top cooking before you place the stew in the oven to finish. It's well worth the hour because the rest of the time you can enjoyed entertaining or just relaxing.
We enjoyed the beef stew with crusty sourdough bread which was amazing. The broth has big favor with the wine and the beef broth, adding the pancetta definitely kicked up the meaty flavor. The vegetable were just right and the parsnips were delicious. We fed seven people that night and proceeded to send a few servings to Jeff's dad as well as supplement numerous lunches during the week. The response from those who took it for lunch, "It tastes even better re-heated." More time to let the flavors come together.
With the first weekend of football play-offs beginning, this is a great meal to serve, especially if everyone is snacking on chips, salsa and chicken wings during the day. Great for a football party or larger gathering. Hearty and delicious, it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
4 medium sized onions, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
3 pounds of baby yukon potatoes cut in quarters
5 stalks of celery sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
5 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch pieces ( or use about 20 small carrots)
4-5 parsnips sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
8 ounces of whole, baby bella mushrooms cut into quarters
4 ounces of chopped pancetta
2 cups of red wine (we use
6-7 cups of beef broth
4 pounds of stew beef cut into 2 inch cubes, dredge in flour (with salt and pepper)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of dry marjoram
2 teaspoons of dry thyme
1 teaspoon of dry tarragon
1 teaspoon of dry rosemary
3-4 tablespoons of fresh basil
4 tablespoons of corn starch
1-2 cups of addition beef stock
salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large dutch oven (12+ cups) on medium high. Once the pot is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place beef (in small batches) into the pot and brown on each side. Don't over cook, they should be browned on the outside, still raw on the inside. Remove and place in a bowl. It will take about 4-5 minutes. I worked this in 4 small batches. Add the second 2 tablespoons of oil after the second batch.
Once all the beef has been browned, add the pancetta to the pot with the onions and garlic. Cook until the pancetta begins to brown and the onions are translucent. Add the beef back to the pan and add one cup of red wine. Scrap all the brown residue from the bottom of the pot. Allow it to come to a boil and then add the second cup of wine. Add the 6 cups of beef broth and then add all the vegetables (carrots, celery, potatoes, parsnips, and mushrooms). Once everything is incorporated, add the herbs and bay leaves (basil, tarragon, marjoram, thyme, rosemary).
Most of the ingredients should be submerged in the broth. If not, add another cup of broth to the pot. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. The stew will cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The stew is finished when the carrots have a slight bite and the beef is soft.
Move the pot from the oven to the stove and heat the pot on medium. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/2 to 1 cup of beef broth. Add this to the stew to increase the thickness of the broth. Allow the mixture to boil slightly. If the stew is still runny, add the other 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and broth.
Once you have the stew consistency you like, add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe will feed 12-16 people.