Here is a recipe of classic beef stew from the Nov/Dec 2011 edition of Clean Eating Magazine. I cannot believe HOW DELICIOUS it is. We ate it all before I could take a picture, so here is the picture from the recipe itself. But honestly, it looked the same.
A bottle of your preferred red wine (I opened a bottle of Caprice du Temps 2014 Syrah) — not in the original recipe, but, if you knew how long it would take, it should be…
1 1/4 pound of beef stew meat
cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp oil
large white onion, chopped
fresh thyme and rosemary
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 dried bay leaves
2 carrots (or as many as you think fit), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of potatoes, diced
1 cup celery root, peeled and diced (same size as potatoes)
2 large portobello mushroom caps (or regular mushrooms), chunked into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup frozen peas
Open your bottle of wine. Pour yourself a glass. This recipe takes a while.
Pat beef dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Choose a stew pot, or a pot you can make the whole sh-bang in. I have this lovely 30 cm cast iron pan that is about 5 cm deep. It is perfect. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil on medium heat and add beef. Cook, undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, until bottom is browned. Flip and repeat until the beef is browned.
Add onion and cook until soft (about 6 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and add thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, and garlic. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar. Simmer until slightly reduced. Add broth and bay leaves. Cover and increase to medium-high heat. Once mixture begins to simmer, reduct heat to medium low. Adjust as necessary to maintain a slow, steady simmer. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
Refill your glass of wine.
Add carrots, cover, and simmer for 20 more minutes. Add potatoes, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add celery root, cover and simmer until all vegetables and beef are tender (15-20 minutes or however much time you have).
Meanwhile, add a glob of oil to a fry pan and heat on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, remaining 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. Toss to combine and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to soften and release liquid (3 to 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mushrooms are tender and vinegar is almost completely reduced (about 3 minutes).
Add peas to stew pot, cover and cook until peas are heated through. Storm in mushrooms and remove the stew from the heat.
Serve with thick chunks of homemade bread (or bread you have bought that day). Here in Switzerland, we buy bread every day. You know, fresh, crusty, wholesome, chunky.
Don’t forget your wine. Divide what is left of the bottle with your table guests. You may even need to open another bottle.
This recipe takes a bit of time to make, but honestly, it is worth the wait. And I might adapt it next time to the crock pot.
Let me know what you think if you make it.