It snowed here in my new town this week (Monday actually) and I was feeling nostalgic for the my childhood on Long Island in the 70’s: snow on the ground, sledding (my kids used a Boogie Board because they’re California kids) and something cooking all day in the kitchen for that night’s dinner. My parents made a lot of the cuisine of the 70’s including stews, veal, casseroles, meatloaf and many of my mother’s Italian specialties. My Dad loved a good slow cooker meal and beef stew was one of his favorites.
I created this particular recipe for the cooktop and it’s quite simple. Incidentally, my local grocer had stew meat on sale so I added it to my menu when I went shopping last Sunday.
Beef Stew with Baby Portabellas
1 1/2 lbs lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, cut in half and then sliced thinly
2 cups sliced portabellas ( found these at Trader Joes)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup good quality dry, red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste (I used Amore brand found at Amazon)
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
4 cups peel carrots, cut into 1/4 -inch diagonal slices
2 medium Russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup celery, cut into 1-inch diagonal slices
1 tbsp flour (whisked into 1 tbsp broth from stew)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Place flour into zip-top bag. Season with salt and pepper (no measurement needed here). Mix flour with seasonings. Add beef stew meat in batches and coat with seasoned flour. Heat large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches (do not crowd pot) and saute until browned. Place browned beef onto plate.
Add onions and mushrooms to pot; saute for 6 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more (be careful not to burn garlic). Pour off fat from stock pot. Add red wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef, tomato paste and beef broth. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until beef is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
Add carrots, potatoes and celery. Cover pot partially with lid. Simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are cooked and tender.
Uncover pot and stir in flour/broth mxture. Increase heat and bring stew to a boil for 1 minute. Adjust seasonings if necessary before serving.
Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.