CLASSIC BEEF STEW
Serves: 6 to 8
♦ 2.5 pounds good quality chuck
♦ olive oil
♦ kosher salt and pepper
♦ 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
♦ 1 cup red wine, divided (strong, like Malbec or Cabernet)
♦ 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
♦ 1 lb potatoes (any variety), cut into 1-inch chunks
♦ 2 tbsp tomato paste
♦ 4 cups beef stock
♦ 2 tsp dried thyme
♦ 1 bay leaf
♦ 2 tsp paprika
Cut the chuck into 1-inch cubes, and set into a large bowl. Add 2 tbsp flour plus a dash of salt, and toss to combine. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium to high heat. Sauté the chuck pieces in batches, until the pieces are browned on all sides. Set aside the beef, and add more oil to the pan. Add the onion, and sauté until golden. Quickly add salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Next, carefully add 1/2 cup of the wine to deglaze the pan, allowing it to cook off. Once reduced, place the onion into a food processor or blender and puree to desired consistency. Set aside.
Reheat the pan with additional oil, and add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are just softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining wine, and allow to reduce. Finally, add the browned chuck pieces, the onion puree, the beef stock, salt and pepper, the thyme, the bay leaf, and paprika. Bring the stew to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
Slow cooker method: once at a simmer, pour the stew into your slow cooker, and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Stir occasionally.
Oven method: Place the lid on your dutch oven, and set the stew into an oven pre-heated to 350°. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
At the end of the cooking process, test the consistency of your stew. If it’s too thin, add a splash more of wine or stock. If it’s too thick, create a slurry by whisking 2 tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of hot water – stir this into the stew.
The stew is best if eaten the day after being cooked, as the flavors will develop with time. Will keep refrigerated for 5 days, or frozen 2 months.
To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.