Friday, March 1, 2013

Beef Stew – Winter’s Comfort Food

It’s a typical South Carolina winter this year – Warm days, followed by cold days (for SC that is) and even a little snow.  This weekend we have a chill in the air again so Natalie wanted some beef stew.  So here is a little comfort food for our chilly weekend. 

1-2lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

5-6 carrots, peeled, cut into bite size chunks
1 lg. sweet onion, rough chopped (reserve 1 slice to chop fine)
4 stalks of celery, thick sliced (reserve ½ stalk to chop fine)

4 mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves minced garlic
15oz can of diced tomatoes

1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. corn starch (mixed with a little red wine)

2 Tbsp. flour

1 qt. beef broth
Salt & Pepper to taste

Olive oil

What to do-

Put meat in a gallon plastic bag with the flour, toss well to coat.
In a large frying pan add oil and brown meat over medium high heat.

Meanwhile in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat a tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and rosemary sprig – cook for about one minute, stirring often.  Add mushrooms, reserved chopped onions and reserved chopped celery to the Dutch oven and sauté until softened. 
Add tomatoes, broth, celery, and onions to the Dutch oven.  Stir to blend, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Add browned beef to the Dutch oven.  Be sure to scrape and of the flour bits from the bottom of the pan!

Bring mixture to a slow boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Allow to simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The last 5 minutes or so, mix cornstarch in a cup with the red wine, blending well.  Pour the mixture into the stew and stir pot.  Allow to 'set' and thicken the stew for about five minutes.
Serve over rice.

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