Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
2 1/2 c chuck beef, cut into bite-sized (or smaller) pieces
1- 750ml bottle of red wine*
6 cloves garlic, minced and separated
3 bay leaves
3 T olive oil, separated
2 onions, chopped
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb mushrooms, de-stemmed and halved
1 lb small potatoes, chopped
2 c chicken broth
1 T rosemary
2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T salt, plus more to taste
2 t pepper, plus more to taste
1- 10 oz pkg frozen peas

1. Place beef in a large bowl with a lid; add wine, 3 garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
2. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

3. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and heat to medium heat.
4. Lift half of the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and place in pot to brown for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once browned, transfer to slow cooker on "keep warm" or "low". Repeat for the rest of the beef. Discard bay leaves, but save wine marinade.
5. Pour out any remaining liquid in pot; heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium heat and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes.
6. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes; transfer all of the vegetables to the slow cooker.
7. Add the reserved marinade to the empty pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. It will start to "foam"; let it foam pretty high and add a little bit of chicken broth; repeat until it no longer smells like alcohol and all broth is added.
8. Add rosemary (rub between fingers as you sprinkle in so it releases its oils), Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker and turn up to high heat.
9. Cook for about 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat.
10. Stir in peas just before serving, season to taste, and serve hot.
*If you don't like the taste of wine, or would rather not cook with it, skip the marinating and start with step 3.

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