Monday, March 3, 2014

Beef & Vegetable Stew with Red Wine & Thyme

There's a lot of flexibility with this and any soup or stew recipe. I just kind of put in what I had available...trying to use up the end of a bottle of red wine, and half a green pepper. Add and adjust to suit your taste...or whatever you have on hand! These amounts made enough to feed about six.

1 sweet onion, large diced
1 tsp thyme 
¼+ C butter
32 oz beef stock
1 lb beef stew meat
1½ C red wine (cabernet, or any red wine)
1 lb potatoes, large diced 
½ lb carrots, large diced 
½ green pepper, large diced 
¼ C heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste

After dicing the vegetables, sauté and caramelize the onions in a couple tablespoons of butter. (I actually had the grease from bacon fried the previous day, but any fat would work.) Meanwhile, heat beef stock in a stock pot. When the onions are nearly ready, add the thyme and continue to sauté until fragrant; then add to stock pot. If you like (and I do!), brown the potatoes and carrots first; if not, add them directly to the stock pot.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown in a hot pan with  a couple tablespoons of butter (or bacon fat...); add to the stock pot. Use the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits left in the pan, then add to the stock pot.

If you like a thicker stew, melt some additional butter (or bacon fat) in the sauté pan, and use roughly an equal amount of flour to make a roux; add some of the beef stock and whisk to make a smooth gravy...then add it all to the stock pot to thicken the broth. I had about ¼ cup of heavy cream leftover from another I added that too.

Simmer until potatoes and carrots are thoroughly cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

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