More Snow , Head Colds and Beef Stew
We woke up to more snow, another 6". Bob has a head cold and I had to go into town to work my retail job 12:30 to 9pm , so what is a girl to do but make beef stew.
I made tonight's stew in one of my two new dutch ovens ( thank you Bobby and Keri)
A Dutch oven has the advantage of using one pot from start to finish—you can sear proteins in the same pan you use to braise. When using a Dutch oven, you can braise on the stove top or in the oven. If you choose the stove top, be mindful—you will need to stir occasionally and check the heat under the burner to make sure the bottom of the pan isn’t burning or sticking.
Hearty Beef Stew
3 lb.boneless beef chuck
2 Tbs. canola oil
4 thick slices apple wood-smoked bacon, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
6 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) beef stock or broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 lbs. red-skinned potatoes
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 200. Cut the beef into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes and set aside. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain and set aside. Pour the fat into a heatproof bowl. Return 2 Tbs. of the fat to the pot and heat over medium-high heat. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. In batches to avoid crowding, add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the beef to a plate.
Add another 2 Tbs. of the fat to the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and let it melt. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Gradually stir in the stock, and then stir in the tomato paste, the 1 Tbs. parsley and the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Return the beef to the pot and bring to a boil add in the potatoes. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper and we top ours with cheese.