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Monday, November 9, 2009

Hearty Beef Stew with Mushrooms

I remember my first year here in New York City. I moved to NYC end of August. It was so hot and muggy, the air felt heavy around me. I didn't have an A/C for the first few days, so I had to suffer through that oppressive heat. By end of September, the temperature was already down into the 40s. Being from Los Angeles, I thought I was going to die from cold. 40s! That's colder than winter for LA! My classmates laughed hysterically when they saw me wearing gloves at 40 degrees. "Wait til it actually gets cold!" Boy were they right, that winter, the winter of 2003/04 was COLD! With wind chill it was subzero for about 2 weeks after New Years. I remember when the weather hit 14 degrees, I saw joggers outside cuz it was "warm" out!

Now that I've been here for a couple years, I've acclimated to the cold. I don't even wear gloves. I just shove my hands into my big puffy down jacket. But I still get cold pretty easily. My boyfriend is from Alaska, so we're polar opposites when it comes to weather. We can sit in the same room, (obviously) at the same temperature, but I'll get colder and colder, while he gets warmer and warmer. He would feel my hand and it'd feel like ice, while his felt so warm to me. We'd always joke about this fact.

As the weather has been getting colder, I've been craving warm hearty stews. We had a couple chuck steaks in the freezer from when I stockpiled it during the previous sale, so I decided to make beef stew. I also like making food in large quantities and throwing a couple aliquots into the freezer for rainy day. Beef stew was the perfect candidate for my rainy day freezer meal stockpile.

Recipe for Hearty Beef Stew with Mushrooms

3 pound Chuck Steak on the bone, deboned, cut into large chunks, keep the bones
Garlic powder
Vegetable oil
4 T butter
4 or more cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 onions, cut into large chunks*
1 carrot, shredded
3 ribs celery, finely minced**
2 cups red wine
1 can lager beer
water or beef broth
2 bay leaves
2 T tomato paste
1 t Worcester sauce
1 T Balsamic vinegar
5-8 potatoes, peeled cut into large chunks
4-5 carrots, cut into large chunks***
2 large packages mushrooms, cut in half

Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Dredge beef in mixture. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in large dutch oven (at least 5 quarts) or pressure cooker. Brown beef in small batches, careful not to overcrowd, place in separate bowl. Lower heat to medium, throw butter into dutch oven or pressure cooker, and saute garlic, onions, shredded carrots, and celery. After this has softened, add the meat back into the pot along with the meat bones. Then add red wine, beer, and water until it barely covers the beef. If you are using a pressure cooker, bring to high pressure for 12 minutes and then use natural release (Tho I got impatient waiting for the pressure to release, so i ran it under cold water after waiting 15 minutes). If you are using a dutch oven, cook over medium heat until the meat has softened but not melting, approximately 1-2 hours. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to cook until the vegetables are cooked and the stew has thickened. At the end you can season to your liking.

Generally the stew is best when you use a drinkable wine for the recipe and stew always tastes better the next day. Serve with crusty bread. Or if prefer, serve it over rice with an egg on top, which is how we had it for breakfast the next day. Also if you decide to freeze leftovers, I would keep the size of the carrots small and fish out any potatoes before freezing because the texture after freeze thawing is not appealing.

*If the onions are too small, it'll completely melt into the stew.
**I don't like eating celery, but I like the flavor it imparts on the stew, so i finely mince it, so I get the flavor, but don't have to eat celery. It also melts nicely into the stew making it thicker.
***I added shredded carrots to the earlier cooking with the meat to melt into the stew, and larger chunks later so they don't get too soft and mushy.


Brad said...

Looks good, a great meal for a cold day. Thanks for the recipe.

The Chickenless Chick said...

Wine AND beer? What's left for the cook? ;)

Looks delicious. Beef and mushroom dishes are the best for cold days.

Jenn said...

Chickenless Chick, you only have one bottle of wine at home? You gotta order it by the case! :)

Anonymous said...

Delicious recipe, I would absolutely love to have this stew topped with fried egg!

{kiss my spatula} said...

just had beef stew for dinner here too! perfect meal, huh?

Mr. P said...

Eggs on top. Brilliant! :)

penny aka jeroxie said...

Beef stew and an egg! Lovely. I must try that soon.

Jenn said...

Everyone seems to like the fried egg! :) I guess its just my frugality? Eggs = cheap protein! I throw fried eggs on everything ...

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lishapisa said...

AH Yes , with an egg please! thank you very much !
Your Stew looks mighty delicious!

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