Recipe: One Pound, Wine Braised Beef Stew

Beef stew over rice. Yum!

I'm obsessed with making short ribs, I even made them for Thanksgiving this year but I felt like branching out a bit, beef-wise. 

So I thought: beef stew. 

My mom used to make beef stew when I was a child. Not very often but enough that I remember loving it. When I asked her for her recipe, she kind of shrugged and said, “Hmm, I don’t know. Probably from the New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne? Maybe?"  "Was there flour?" 
"Potatoes? Peas?" 
"Maybe, probably." 
She remembered making it and loving it as well, but what book, what recipe, what technique? All I got was a sweet shrug-a-dee-doo.

So, I did what I normally do before cooking a new recipe: I looked at a ton of recipes online, narrowed it down to sites that I know and trust, like Simply Recipes or Cooking NYTimes, looked at a few select cookbooks like A New Way To Dinner, looked at relevant techniques like these from Bon Appetite, and this post from the very thorough and well-meaning Serious Eats (which I found exhausting with too many unnecessary steps, counter to cooking well and a bit too this for me or this but entertaining).  After I did all of that over a day or so, I started cooking, this time without a recipe. But below is what I ended up making. The sauce was delicious, the meat tender but my veg did NOT cook through! Maddening. So I’ll have to correct that on the next iteration but overall an easy recipe.


Some recipe notes: 
--I made one pound because I’m #singleaf right now and I didn't want to eat beef stew for a week. 
--One pound of beef (16 ounces) made about 13 ounces of cooked meat, which for me is three servings, but you serve it as you like.
--The recipe does not need flour (wheat or otherwise), you won’t miss it.
--I didn't use chicken broth because it’s too salty for me but you could.
--I only used a half can of tomatoes because it was only one pound of meat and you do not want the meat totally submerged - that’s a boil, not a braise.
--I used shallots as that what I had on hand, onions are just as good. 
--I used Farmer’s Market fingerling potatoes, and they totally didn't cook through– phooey. Next time, I might just cook veg separately and add them at the end fully cooked.
--I used one cup of wine leftover from another recipe, which even after a few weeks corked was perfectly good. 


One Pound Wine Braised Beef Stew
Makes around 13 ounces of beef stew
Adapted from Once Upon A Chef & Cooking NYTimes

1 pound beef stew meat, pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with coarse Kosher salt 
2 shallots, peeled and diced 
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 T red wine vinegar
1 dried bay leaf
½ 15-ounce can of diced organic tomatoes
1 cup red wine
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
Water as needed
Coarse Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make room on the middle rack. Heat two tablespoons of oil into a dutch oven/ceramic pot on medium high heat. Brown the meat in batches as to not overcrowd, and brown thoroughly on all sides. (If the pot it needs more oil, add it and do make sure the fond doesn’t burn.) 

While the meat is browning, slice your shallots, mince the garlic, open the can of tomatoes and decork the wine. 

When the meat is all browned and resting on a platter, sauté the shallots in the pot until translucent and fragrant, then add garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant. Then add the vinegar, wine and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. 

Boil the wine mixture until slightly reduced. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes and the meat. Bring to a boil and then pop into the oven with the lid on the pot. 

While the meat is cooking, prep the carrots and potatoes. 

Check the meat after two hours and add the veg and cook the veg through another 30 minutes (at least that’s how it’s supposed to work!). 

Serve with a side salad, and over the grain or pasta of your choice and enjoy!


Elise said…
That Phil Hartman clip is hysterical!

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