Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Best Beef Stew

This is a constantly evolving recipe that I toy with every time I make. Based on my family's reviews, this is the definitive version. If you don't have beef demi glace, omit the water and use good, canned beef stock.  This could also be done in a crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 325

Serves 4-6

3 tbl olive oil
1- 2 1/2-3 lb chuck roast
2 onions, diced
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
1 large carrot, cut in half
4 tbl flour
1 heaping tbl tomato paste
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups red wine (I used a nice Zinfandel)
1-2 cups water 
1 heaping tbl Beef demi glace (i use williams sonoma brand)
2 tbl Worstershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Garlic powder

Cut the roast into 2" chunks and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat a dutch oven until hot, add oil, and brown beef in batches, removing the beef to a bowl as it browns.  Add the onions, season with a little salt, and cook until brown.  Add the flour and brown. Add the brandy and deglaze.  Add wine, tomato paste, water, beef demi glace, thyme, and bay leaves, and carrot.  Season with a little salt and pepper (if you use beef stock that is salted, don't add more salt). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Place in a 325 degree oven for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender.  Remove carrot and bay leaves before serving. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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