French Peasant Beef Stew

>> Thursday, January 17, 2013

My mom makes an awesome beef stew, and with this cold snap we've had, I decided to make it for dinner one night.  Being pregnant, when I have a craving, I want it right that instant.  So I immediately called mom for her recipe...but she wasn't home.  So I headed to the grocery store and just hoped that I could wing it.  While my recipe wasn't exactly like my mom's recipe, it was still delicious - and easy!  Since I cooked it low and slow, it wasn't necessary to pre-cook the vegetables and the potatoes broke down and served to thicken the broth of the stew.  And the meat was fall-apart tender...yum!  Serve with crusty bread and a glass of the remaining red wine and you've got a fantastic winter meal.

French Peasant Beef Stew

2 T vegetable oil
2 - 2 1/2 lb beef stew meat
1/2 bottle good quality red wine
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t herbes de provence
3 1-inch pieces of orange rind
salt and pepper
32 oz low sodium beef broth
16 oz fresh whole mushrooms, cleaned and halved (or quartered if large)
2-3 large carrots, thinly sliced
2-3 celery ribs, sliced
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
2 T worcestershire sauce
1/8 - 1/4 t ground cloves

In a large pot or dutch oven, add the vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat.  In batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot, quickly sear/brown the beef.  Remove beef to a plate.

Lower heat to medium.  Pour in red wine, bay leaves, garlic, herbes de provence, orange rind and a little salt and pepper and scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Let simmer for a few minutes, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in beef broth.

Add meat back into the pot.  Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes and onions.  Stir well.  Cover pot and let simmer 20-30 minutes.  Stir again and lower heat to low, stirring occasionally, and let cook for 4-5 hours.

About an hour before serving, stir in worcestershire sauce and cloves.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove bay leaf before serving.


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