I'm not usually one to plan ahead, but this morning had a busy day in front of me and I actually put a Beef Stew on the stove shortly after breakfast. Letting it simmer away while I finished up the dishes and other little chores, I got a head start on dinner. I do have a crock pot, however, I frequently forget to use it - as I did this morning! But I'm certain that this would be one of those crock pot recipes that would come out perfectly.
Browned beef, sauteed onions and garlic enhanced with a robust red wine and a touch of thyme give this simmering stew a mouthwatering scent that meanders its way throughout the house. A side of crusty bread to sop up the juices is a nice addition to this one pot chill chaser!
A forgiving recipes that works well with what you have on hand, I have to admit that I have never really measured what I toss in, but the results have always been just fine!
Beef Stew with Red Wine and Mushrooms
beef (I used a sirloin steak that I had on hand) chunked
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped in large chunks
2 Tbs chopped garlic
1 can diced or chopped tomatoes, with juices
red wine -I use about 1 1/2 cups for the stew and 1 glass for me! (But not when I make it in the morning...)
1-2 cups beef broth
1 tsp dried thyme (adjust more or less to your taste)
1 basket cremini mushrooms, quartered
sliced carrots ( 2 or 3 carrots)
2 Tbs corn starch mixed with 3 Tbs warm water (to thicken)
In a large stockpot, add the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the chunked beef and sautee until browned. Remove the browned beef from the pot. Add more oil if necessary and add the onions and garlic. Sautée for a few minutes then return the beef to the pan. Give it a stir, then add the tomatoes, thyme, wine and beef broth. Add enough water to cover about an inch over the beef, then add the quartered mushrooms. Reduce heat and simmer (adding water if necessary) for a few hours or until the beef is very tender. Just before serving, add the carrots. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 8 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew and simmer a few minutes longer, until thickened a bit.
Ladle into bowls and serve. This is one of those recipes that is even more flavorful the 2nd day! Chopped parsley is a nice garnish.
Note: The mushrooms will get very soft, if your prefer firmer mushrooms add them closer to the end of the simmering.