Monday, November 21, 2011

Cher's Ultimate Savory and Hearty Beef Stew

Cher’s Ultimate Hearty and Savory Beef Stew

4 to 4.5 Lbs stew meat chuck with fat removed
Flour - enough to coat meat
Olive Oil as needed
2 - 1 qt Beef broth
1 Bottle of good Cabernet Sauvignon
(Select a bottle of wine that you would drink DO NOT USE A COOKING WINE)
2 - Lg yellow Onions
10 - Garlic Cloves
(or minced garlic from The Spice House if you would like to cut back on some oil)
1 - large Costco container of Baby Bella (or Crimini) mushrooms
8 - Lg Potatoes
10 - Baby Carrots (quantity to your taste)
1 small bag of frozen peas

Spices are all to your taste
(quantities given are what Cher starts with; then she adjusts accordingly)
Kosher Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 - 3 TBSP Hungarian sweet paprika
2 - 3 tsp cumin
2 - 3 tsp beef roast seasoning from the spice house
2 - 3 tsp rosemary
2 - 3 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
2 – 3 tsp Costco Kirkland Signature no salt seasoning

Cube the beef into 1” cubes.
Heat 1.5 tbsp of olive oil in stainless steel pan.
Coat cubes in flour then add to hot oil (Cher uses a baggie that she can shake and get a good even coating)
Brown some of the meat on all sides in heated olive oil
(make sure there is only one layer of meat at a time. You will need to work in batches.)
When 1 batch is done remove, set aside and then add some more meat to pan.
Add more oil, if needed, to the pan and begin cooking meat again.
Repeat until all meat is cooked.
(The amount of time to cook the meat will vary with how large a batch you are making.)

Put cooked meat into large pot.
Add equal parts of the beef stock and the Cabernet to cover the beef cubes. Reserve the rest to add later.
Allow meat to simmer for 30 minutes

While the meat is simmering, coarsely chop up onions; add to a stainless steel pan and sauté in olive oil until translucent.
Once they are translucent add to beef stew

After the onions are done cooking and have been removed and added to the cooking stew meat, chop the 10 garlic cloves up, add to the pan you just used for the onions and then gently sauté 10 garlic cloves in the hot onion infused olive oil.
(If you cook them with the onions they will burn so be sure to do them separately.)
Stay with the garlic as it sautés. They cook quickly and will brown too much or burn.
Strain garlic from the oil and add garlic to stew. (I use a spoon to scoop them out and lean it against the inside of the pan so the oil can drip back into the pan.)

(If you use the minced or chopped garlic from The Spice House you can skip this step.)
Leave the garlic/onion infused oil in the pan for the mushrooms.

Add the remainder of the Beef broth and the wine to the pot.

Clean the mushrooms to prepare them for slicing.
Never run the mushrooms under water, instead wipe gently with damp towel.
This is very important. If you wash them under water they will become waterlogged and will not absorb all the luscious flavors that you will be trying to coax into them.

Slice mushrooms and then add mushrooms to stainless steel pan that you just used to sauté the garlic in. Cook mushrooms on med heat turning frequently as you sauté.
After the mushrooms have cooked for a few minutes a flavorful brown liquid will form.
As this brown savory liquid forms, spoon out of pan and add to stew.

When the mushrooms have cooked for a few minutes and most of the liquid is gone sprinkle kosher salt on mushrooms, continue cooking until mushrooms are crusty.
Turn up heat until mushrooms are sizzling and add enough cabernet to mushrooms to deglaze pan.
Let wine cook down for minute or two, continually sautéing, pushing them around until wine is fully absorbed.
It is very important that you stay with the mushrooms through this step to keep them from burning.
Add mushrooms to stew.

Cut carrots in half add to pot
Add kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, Hungarian sweet paprika, cumin, beef roast seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and Costco Kirkland signature no salt seasoning
Simmer stew for about 30 minutes

While stew simmers cut potatoes into large pieces about 1” add to pot about 30 or 40 min before stew is to be served.
Stew is done when potatoes are tender
At this point add you may add the frozen peas or wait until just before serving stew
They only need about 2- 5 minutes to warm and you do not want to overdo it.

Serve with hot buttered sour dough bread, a good wine and enjoy!

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