Friday, January 2, 2015

Root Vegetable Beef Stew

For Christmas my parents gave me a Le Creuset dutch oven.  I've been wanting one for years!  Thanks Mom and Dad!  I wanted to "break it in" with something really special.  I love beef stew and never have been able to make it at home because I didn't have the proper dish to use.  I woke up this Sunday and it was really gloomy and cold outside so I knew a big pot of beef stew would be perfect.  I really enjoy root vegetables like parsnips and celery root but never get to use them often, so I came up with a recipe for a beef stew that includes all of my favorite root vegetables.  I served this with my Mix & Match Herb and Cheese Biscuits.  Perfect for dunking!  Here's how to make it:

2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt, as needed
Pepper, as needed
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 lb. carrots, peeled, big chunks
1 lb. parsnips, peeled, big chunks
2 large onions, halved then quartered
1/2 a large celery root, 1/2 inch cubes
1.5 lbs baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
5 cloves of garlic, rough chop
6 oz. can of tomato paste
Fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs
Fresh thyme, 5 sprigs
3 bay leaves
2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet sauvignon)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. 

In a shallow dish, combine flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Mix.  Dredge the pieces of beef in the flour and shake off the excess.

Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Coat the bottom of the pot with extra virgin olive oil and let it heat.  When the oil is hot, working in batches, brown the meat on both sides.  When all of the meat has browned, set aside.

Into the pot with the beef drippings, add a little more olive oil if needed then add the carrots, parsnips, celery root, and onions.  Season generously with salt.  Stir and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes until the veggies start to brown slightly.

Add the tomato paste and garlic.  Stir and cook a minute more.  Add the mushrooms and potatoes.  Season with a sprinkle more salt and cook 5 minutes more.

De glaze the pot with red wine.  Scrape up the brown bits off the bottom then add the chicken and beef stocks along with the Worcestershire.

Bring to a simmer then add the herbs, bay leaves and the beef with the drippings back to the pot.

Add another sprinkle of salt, stir everything together, cover with the lid and put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.  After the first hour, stir then continue cooking.

When it's done, place it on the stove top, stir in the frozen peas, place the lid back on and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed.

Serve with crusty bread or Mix & Match Herb and Cheese Biscuits!

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