This week I lost a close friend. It faithfully followed me around the country, and showed up in my mailbox every month for almost 20 years. I would flip through the pages looking at the beautiful pictures, imagining that I would make everything every month. Ok, well that never happened, but I did manage to create quite a notebook filled with my favorite Gourmet recipes over the years. When Ruth Reichtl took over as Editor for the magazine, I couldn’t have been more pleased – I read most of her books, and looked forward to reading her columns each month.
November will be the last issue for the magazine, and I am still in denial. I know that when December comes, I will be expecting the issue with the delicious cookies on the cover. I will just have to go to my notebook and find my favorites. Over the next few weeks look for recipes on my blog in honor of Gourmet – I may even pull out some of my all-time favorites.
This is my mother’s recipe for Beef Stew. This is a perfect meal for a cool fall day. This recipe is a little different from a typical Beef Stew recipe in that it is made with chicken stock and white wine, as opposed to beef stock and red wine. This gives the stew a lighter and sweeter flavor, making it perfect for the fall. As with most stews – it is even better leftover.
- 2-1/2 lbs. chuck shoulder roast, cut into 1-1/2” cubes, trimmed well
- S & P TT (I use kosher salt and freshly ground peppercorns)
- ½ C All Purpose flour
- 3 T vegetable oil
- 2 C sweet onions, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 C carrots, cut into 1” lengths
- 12 baby red potatoes, cut in half
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 C white wine (I use a mild wine like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc)
- 2 C low sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson but strong homemade broth would be better)
- 3 tsp fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 325-350 degrees.
Salt and Pepper the beef. Place flour in plastic bag and add the seasoned beef. Shake bag to coat the beef. Remove beef, shaking off excess flour, and place beef on a plate.
Preheat a large, heavy dutch oven on top of stove on medium-high heat. Add oil and when shimmering, add beef. Do not crowd beef. Brown beef well on all sides and remove to a plate, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Repeat this process with the remainder of the beef, removing beef to the plate when finished. Add more oil if necessary. Be careful not to let the browned bits on the bottom of the pot burn, regulating the burner as necessary. When the all of the beef is finished browning, pour off all but 2 T oil.
Add onions and carrots to dutch oven. Salt and pepper the onions and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Remember; do not let browned bits burn on bottom of pan. Add the tomato paste to the onions and carrots and stir to coat. Add wine to dutch oven, bringing to a boil, stirring and scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the dutch oven. Reduce the wine by one half. Add the chicken stock to the dutch oven and stir. Add beef and the potatoes to the dutch oven and stir to combine. Liquid should come up to a few inches below the level of the beef and vegetables. Bring the stew to a boil.
Cover dutch oven tightly and place onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook gently for about 2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Remove beef stew to a cooling rack, correct seasonings, and add the fresh thyme, gently stirring. Let the beef stew cool, uncovered for an hour on the counter, then refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to serve, remove the beef stew from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about ½ hour. Gently reheat beef stew in a preheated 350 degree oven until heated through, about 45 minutes. You can keep beef stew in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Some say that it is better left-over.
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