Hi Everybody! Happy September! Although this crazy heat and humidity sure doesn’t feel like September fall is on it’s way, I’m hoping I wake up to a cool and crisp morning one of these days… because I’m so ready for it! As you may be able to tell by another fall themed recipe! I know I’ve shared several different stew recipes with you over the past couple of years, but I couldn’t resist sharing another. Stews are one of my favorites things to cook; not only are they so hearty and cozy, but I also happen to love the slow cooking process. All the chopping, peeling, and stirring is curiously comforting as the ingredients in the big cooking pot begin to fill the kitchen with such warmth and deliciousness! Another thing I love about making stews, is that no stew ever turns out exactly the same; you can add in different herbs, seasonings, vegetables, even meats, depending on what may be in season or what you have on hand, and somehow, it always turns out delicious! I love this particular stew because of all the fresh herbs, but also because of the roasted garlic. It’s a simple way to add more flavor, and really it’s not just for stews, you could use this in any sauce, dip or spread, to give the garlic such great sweetness and softness. Another great thing about stews is that they get better the longer they sit… the flavors marry and intensify, making it the perfect make-ahead meal!
YOU WILL NEED
3 1/2 lbs beef, cut into about 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 head of garlic
A couple of tbs of olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
8oz mushrooms, sliced
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 – 4 cups beef broth (homemade or low sodium)
2 cups red wine or extra beef broth
3 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs all-purpose flour
Salt & Pepper
To serve with beef stew: crusty white bread and/or mashed potatoes
1. The first step is a sort of “pre-step” and that’s roasting the garlic! Preheat your oven to 400 deg F and cut the top off your head of garlic. Place the garlic cut side up on a piece of foil, drizzle it with about a tablespoon or so of olive oil, then bring up the sides of the foil and make a little “garlic package”, making sure it’s sealed well. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are nice and soft. Once soft, take the garlic out of the oven, and let it cool a little bit, then squeeze the softened garlic out!
2. While your garlic is roasting, begin cooking your stew. In a large pot, heat up some olive oil and the two tablespoons of butter, and brown your beef. Make sure you do this in a couple of batches so you don’t crowd the pot. Let the beef brown on all sides, then remove it from the pot, and add the diced onion as well as one diced carrot into the pot, season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook until the vegetables soften.
3. Add the flour to the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about a minute, then add the beef back in, and add the tomato paste at this point as well. Stir everything gently until the vegetables and the meat are coated in the tomato paste. Add the fresh herbs and roasted garlic (I mush it up with a fork before adding it. Also, add as much/little of it as you like, depending on how garlicky you want the stew to be! If you want it extra garlicky, you can roast more than one head of garlic!) and then drown everything with 2 cups of either red wine or beef broth. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, then add 3 cups of beef broth, cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours, checking on the stew and stirring every 15 minutes or so. Then, uncover the stew, and let it cook for another 1 1/2 hours.
4. While it’s cooking, saute the sliced mushrooms until tender in some olive oil, then about 15 minutes before the stew is done cooking, add the mushrooms, as well as the remainder of the carrots (peel and cut them into chunks), and the rest of the beef broth if necessary – if the stew looks too thick, add in some extra broth to thin it out (you can use more than one cup if you need to). Discard the bay leaf and fresh herb sprigs, and check that the seasoning is right, adding in more salt and pepper if you need it (sometimes I add in a pinch of sugar at the end to balance out the flavors). Serve with mashed potatoes, fresh crusty white bread, and an extra sprig of fresh rosemary on top! Bon Apetit! (said in Julia Child’s voice, of course!)
(*Note: To make fishing out the herb sprigs easier, you can make a “bouquet garni” which basically just means placing the herbs in a piece of cheesecloth and tying it up, then placing that in your cooking pot. You could also just tie up all the herbs and place them in the pot. I would definitely recommend doing one of these, otherwise you will be spending time trying to fish those sprigs out, and there will be way too many little pieces of rosemary swimming around your stew!)
I hope you all have a wonderful day, and enjoy this hearty, cozy stew!
Thanks so much for stopping by today!