Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe

• 2-3 lbs beef stew (I prefer sliced Beef Shanks for the bone marrow)
• 3 TBSP olive oil
• 2 TBSP butter
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 TBSP diced applewood bacon pieces
• 2 garlic cloves, mashed
• 1 1/2 TBSP of flour
• One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
• 3/4 tsp of thyme
• 2 anchovies
• 1 stalk celery chopped
• 10 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, just leaves
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 cups beef broth (preferably homemade)
• 3 carrots sliced into ½ inch pieces
• 3 large potatoes, cubed
• 1 green bell pepper, sliced in strips

You can cut the beef stew into pieces before cooking but I prefer to let it cook off the bone and fall apart.

Place butter and olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan or braising pot over medium heat. Add beef cubes, applewood bacon pieces, and onion. When beef is browned and onions are translucent add the garlic and sprinkle the flour over all. Stir the mixture until the flour is absorbed.

Add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, anchovies, celery, parsley, white wine and beef broth. Simmer for one hour. Cover not quite completely with a lid and continue cooking at a low simmer for an additional hour.

Add the carrots, potatoes and bell peppers. Simmer the stew until the potatoes are done: approximately 1 hour.

Add a little more salt to taste at the end of cooking. Add a little more beef broth if you want the stew a little thinner.

The secret ingredient is anchovies which you don't end up tasting in the stew but they add a real complexity of flavor to the stew.

Like most stews this one is best the second day after allowing the flavors to meld.

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