This stew was inspired by Tyler Florence on the Food Network. I intended on making his Ultimate Beef stew, but ended up changing quite a few things. I ended up with my mothers beef stew. I think it turned out beautifully. I remember as a kid my father saying, “Laurie, pick out the Bay Leaf.” Now as an adult I LOVE the taste of bay leaf in my food.
I used a cast iron dutch oven for this stew. The heavy bottomed pot lent great browning ability for the beef and left some good bits to be deglazed by the wine (which I used half as much). The dutch oven is seasoned well, but the lid needs to be seasoned as good as the pot (will work on that this week). I served it along side a crusty Italian bread to soak up the extra sauce from the stew, and a dollup of Tyler’s horseradish sour cream. Yuuuummmm!
Moms Ultimate Beef Stew
Few turns around the pan of olive oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 lbs of stew meat, prepared by butcher, or a beef chuck roast or similar cut into 2 inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 cups Burgundy or good tasting red wine
8 sprigs of thyme
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves, less if you are bay leaf shy
2 1/2 cups of beef stock
9 small new potatoes, cut in half
5-6 carrots, depending on size, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 lb. white mushrooms, cut in half
1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
Preheat a large heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat, with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, mix flour salt and pepper together in on a large plate. Dredge the pieces of meat in the flour, shaking off excess and drop into preheated pan to brown meat. You may have to do this in stages. Remove meat to a plate and reserve.
Remove the pan from the burner, and add the wine, returning pan to burner. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the cooked goodies up from the bottom. After the wine has simmered a bit and has heated up, add your meat, thyme, smashed garlic, pepper and salt to taste, bay leaves, and beef stock. Bring it up to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered until the liquid starts to thicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours, add your halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity of the red wine. Simmer uncovered for 30 min. more or until vegetables are tender. At the very end add the frozen peas, just to heat through, and remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
Serve in a bowl with a dollup of horseradish sour cream and a few slices of crusty bread. Can be served on TOP of the crusty bread. Depends on your preference.
Horseradish Sour Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.