Foodie Friday: Classic Beef Stew.
Happy Friday, all! :) Though I have spring on my mind, we are still dealing with the chilly weather here in MD! As a result, I have the perfect excuse to make a few more “cozy” dishes, like the week’s Classic Beef Stew! Full of rich meat and red wine sauce, balanced by sweet peas and creamy mashed potatoes this is one of my family’s favorites! As usual with my recipes, you can follow it word for word or omit/add ingredients and quantities as you like, so play around with it and I would love to hear your variations!
One of the things I took for granted, living in Lancaster was the constant access to fresh, local, grass-fed meats. After moving to MD, I did some research and discovered a GEM…Liberty Delight Farms. Not only does the owner, Shane, have the most beautiful animals and products, but the farm is less than 10 minutes from our home! In addition, he supplies some of the finest Baltimore restaurants and local chefs with his products. Liam cannot wait for the weather to warm up so he can visit the pigs and I can’t wait to go back for more of this delicious stew meat!!! (It’s THAT good, people, trust me. :)) It is so important to be supporting these local farms and Shane does a fantastic job. If you are in the Baltimore area (or not!), check Liberty Delight Farm out…you won’t be disappointed!!!
Classic Beef Stew
2 lbs. lean stew meat cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1/2 lb carrots, diced
1/2 lb petite peas
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
3/4 cup red wine
6 cups, beef broth (feel free to add more if you prefer!)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. corn starch
Using a heavy-bottomed pan (I used my dutch oven) over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Meanwhile, season the meat with salt and pepper. Add half of the meat, wait 2-3 minutes or until you see a good, brown sear. Flip to sear other side. Remove after an addition 2-3 minutes to separate plate and add the other half of meat, repeating steps to brown both sides, set aside with first batch.
In the same pot, add in onion, garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning, for a few minutes, until onions become translucent. Pour in red wine and allow to simmer for a minute or two, while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the tasty brown bits. Stirring constantly, add in beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and sugar. Add back in the reserved meat. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1.5-2 hours (I put the pot’s lid on, leaving it slightly cracked open!). Stir periodically.
After 15-2 hours, my sauce was still a bit thin for my liking. If you prefer a more runny stew, disregard the next set of directions! :) With a ladle, carefully remove 1 cup of the broth to a heat-proof measuring cup. Whisking constantly, add the 2 Tbsp. of corn starch until dissolved. Add back into pot slowly, until desired thickness is reached.
After thickening (or not!) add in carrots and re-cover to simmer an additional 30 minutes. (Now is the time I whip up the mashed potatoes, recipe below.) The last 5 minutes on the stove, stir in the petite peas. Serve over potatoes, steaming hot!
Mashed Potatoes: I love this Barefoot Contessa recipe! It is my fave go-to!