AnnieD's Testing Notes:
You can't go wrong with beef stew in the dead of winter -- and bonappetitfoodie's hearty dish is just what I'm craving. Unconventional ingredients, like balsamic vinegar and sugar, in combination with plenty of red wine, work with the traditional elements in this recipe to create a unique flavor profile you won't find in most beef stews. Note: I found the tartness from the wine and balsamic vinegar a little intense at first, but an overnight rest in the fridge produces glorious results the next day. It's worth the wait.
- 3 pounds beef stew meat
- 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 4 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced in circles about 1/4 in. thick
- 1.5 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 bottle of good red wine
- 3.5 cups beef stock
- 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, heat enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan and prevent the beef cubes from sticking. Pat the beef cubes dry with a paper towel and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the beef to the hot pan and throughly brown the beef cubes on all sides. You don't have to cook them all the way through, but they should be well browned.
When the beef is done cooking, remove the meat and set it aside on a plate.
Chop the onions, carrots and celery. Add the onions first to the pot you cooked the meat in--you may need to add a little extra virgin olive oil just to prevent them from sticking. Cook the onions on a medium-low heat until they start to turn translucent. Then add the carrots, celery and smashed garlic cloves. Saute for approximately 5 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get any of those tasty morsels left behind. Bring to a simmer to cook off some of the alcohol.
Add the beef cubes and any meat drippings. Add 3 1/2 cups of the beef stock to the pot. Add the can of tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, butter, bay leaves and thyme to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil for about 15 minutes, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 2-2 1/2 hours.
In the meantime, wash, dry and cut the potatoes into cubes. They do not have to be peeled.
About 30 - 40 minutes before the stew is done cooking, remove the bay leaves and sprigs of thyme. Add the potatoes and stir well to combine.
Serve warm with a crusty hunk of italian bread to scoop up the delicious stew.
- 448 calories
- 12g total fat
- 6g saturated fat
- 115mg cholesterol
- 878mg sodium
- 29g carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 6g sugar)
- 42g protein