Monday, November 18, 2013

Basic Beef Stew

Today I got a bunch of cooking done.  6 servings of Chicken Junot (for me), 4 servings of Chicken Tetrazzini Supreme (for Robert), and 8 servings of Basic Beef Stew (using slightly different recipes for Robert and me -- he likes potato but no mushroom; I like mushroom but no potato).

Here is the recipe I used for my version of the stew, modified from a Cooking Light recipe.  I used only about 2 cups of broth in mine (~16 oz instead of 28 oz) and when it was done, all the liquid had boiled off, leaving me a substance that is more like Roasted Beef, Carrots, and Mushrooms than stew.  (I had it for dinner -- it still tasted good.)  I have sometimes used less than the full amount of broth, but not so drastically less, and liked that.  Depends on how much broth you like with your stew.  The original recipe has you dredge the beef in flour first, so the broth thickens upon cooking -- if you use the full amount with this modified recipe, your end product will be a bit "brothier" but still delicious.

Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms - Paleo Style
Serves 4

2 t. olive oil, divided
1 lb. small cremini mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ lb. lean stew meat in bite sized chunks
3/4 t. salt, divided
1 c. dry red wine
1 T. dried thyme
2 14-oz cans low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
12-20 oz. cubed carrot (or baby carrot cut in thirds)*
½ t. black pepper

1.     Heat 1 t. olive oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown.  Spoon mushrooms into large bowl.  Spray pan with cooking spray and sauté onion for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown.  Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
2.     Heat 1 t. oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add beef; sprinkle with ¼ t. salt.  Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.  Add beef to mushroom mixture.
3.     Add wine to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits.  Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to boil.  Stir in beef mixture.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour.
4.     Stir in carrot.  Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally.  Stir in remaining ½ t. salt and pepper.  Discard bay leaf.

*I usually go kind of light on the carrots because I'm watching my carb count, but it's also great with more if you like.  The original recipe calls for 1 lb. cued white or red potato that you can add if you want to...well, not beef it up...carb it up?  I think it's great without the potato, though, and don't miss it at all.


Tam said...

Potatoes are pretty much the only thing that can induce me to eat beef stew at all. It's interesting how different our food preferences are.

Sally said...

Yeah, I like potatoes, but really, they're just a vector for salt and fat. If I can get the salt and fat with something that is more inherently delicious (e.g., beef), then all the better.

Tam said...

I seem to like them for their own sake, though of course salt and fat makes most things taste better. When I made mashed potatoes the other day for the shepherd's pie I took a bite of a boiled one to see if it was done yet and I couldn't believe how amazing it tasted. It wasn't even salted!

Debbie M said...

Mmm, "vector for salt and fat."

It is wrong that I thought of that as a resume bullet point:
* Vector for salt and fat

I'm with (or beyond) Tam--potatoes are the only inherently delicious thing in beef stew.