Friday, November 30, 2012

Beef Stew with Roasted Root Vegetables

Beef Stew

Beef Stew is one of the most loved comfort foods, especially during the cold winter months ahead of us. Nothing satisfies a hearty appetite like a steaming bowl of savory beef stew accompanied by slices of crusty buttered bread.

This recipe is unique as the root vegetables are oven roasted and prepared separately. The vegetables can be treated as a side dish to the beef portion or mixed together with the beef, and it's wonderfully rich sauce, to create a traditional stew. A versatile and delicious main course meal that is sure to please!

Beef Stew with Roasted Root Vegetables
Serves: 4 to 6     Total Time: 3 Hours


• 2 Lbs. Beef Round or Chuck cut in 1” cubes 

• Kosher Salt 

• Freshly ground Black Pepper 

• ½ cup all-purpose Flour

• Olive Oil 

• 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter 

• 1 small Onion, diced 

• 5 cloves Garlic, smashed 

• 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste 

• Zest (minced) and juice from one Orange 

• 1 ¼ cup dry Red Wine 

• 32 oz Beef Stock 

• ½ teaspoon dried Thyme leaves 

• ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves 

• 1 Bay Leaf 

• 2 medium Russet Potatoes 

• 1 large Parsnip 

• 4 medium Orange or Golden Beets 

• 2 large Carrots 

• 2 medium Onions
• 1 Teaspoon Herbs de Provence


Preparation Steps


Step 1. Season Beef liberally with Salt & Pepper and toss in Flour.

Step 2. Set a large enameled dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and 2 tablespoons of Butter. When oil is hot add Beef, in two batches being careful not to crowd, and brown. Remove to a dish and set aside. Add a third tablespoon of Olive Oil and Butter before the second batch of beef. 

Step 3. Turn off heat and add Onion and Garlic to pot, allowing the Onion to just sweat and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Remove Onion and Garlic to the same dish as the beef. 

Step 4. Return the heat to medium-high and add the fourth tablespoon of Olive Oil to the pot. Add the Tomato Paste and brown, stirring frequently. When the Tomato Paste has become very dark, add the Orange Zest and Juice, stir and add the Red Wine stirring until the Tomato Paste has melted into the wine.

Step 5. Add the Beef Stock, the Dried Thyme, Cloves and the Bay Leaf, bring to a boil and add the reserved Beef, Onion and Garlic and any accumulated juices. Let this all come to a boil for about 15 minutes then cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 2 ¼ hours.

Step 6. Preheat oven to 425°. Wash, peel, and cut vegetables, (except onions) into 1 ½” pieces to prepare for roasting about an hour before the beef is done – toss with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1 Teaspoon each of Salt and Black Pepper and Herbs de Provence. 

Roasted Root Vegetables

Step 7. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time until nicely browned on the outside and edges and tender inside.

Step 8. Remove the Bay Leaf from the stew. At this point if the gravy is not thick enough for your liking, stir in a couple of tablespoons of butter.

Tips and Trending

~ Whether serving this dish family style or as individual servings always plate with the roasted vegetables surrounded by the beef and gravy to show off the beautifully roasted vegetables and the dark, glistening gravy. In the end, it’s still stew and should be mixed together to be enjoy the blending of all those layers of flavor!

~ Choose beef that is not too lean – the long, slow cooking process will not be kind to lean cuts of meat. 

~  Olive Oil used for cooking does not have to be Extra Virgin. EVOO should be your choice when used for dipping or any time the oil will not be exposed to high heat. A good quality Olive Oil used for cooking will have a higher smoking temperature and yield better results. 

~  Fresh herbs, compared to dried or ground will always provide a brighter taste, but sometimes our recipes will call for the dried or ground version when we want the flavor component to be present, but not in the forefront. 

~  Any stew or soup should be served with hearty bread. If you’re lucky enough to have a local artisan bakery, you can skip the step of becoming a master baker. 

~  If you can buy beets with the greens intact when shopping for this recipe, rinse the whole leaves, remove the tough stems, and roll up the whole bunch to chiffonade, making ½” cuts. Put the cut leaves in a 10 or 12 inch covered sauté pan with just the water that clings from rinsing, plus 2 tablespoons of butter, a little Kosher Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Serve with a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano as a side dish.

~  An enameled cooking pot will allow you to make use of every bit of the ingredients you put into your cooking. You just cannot get the right browning of a meat in a non-stick pot or pan. You’re going to spend a few minutes more cleaning up, but the accolades you receive from the friends and family for whom you are cooking will more than make up for it. (Beside that – if they love your food – they’ll love to help you next time and that always includes clean up!)

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