Cooler temperatures mean it’s time for soups and stews. There’s nothing like a hearty beef stew to warm you from the inside out on a crisp fall day — especially if you eat it with a hunk of crusty bread. It’s like a big hug.
Today’s recipe for Old-Fashioned Beef Stew is from the New York Times food section, and it has all the traditional ingredients: beef stew meat cooked low and slow to make it tender, red wine for flavor, beef broth, bay leaves, onion, carrots and potatoes. The only thing wrong I see in this recipe is that it’s made with one pound of stew meat. The whole fun in making stew is the leftovers, so I recommend doubling this one. Stew seems to be even better when it’s leftover.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try making the New York Times’ No Knead Bread to accompany this stew. It requires planning ahead since the first rise takes 12 to 18 hours, but the result of that patience is a beautiful crusty loaf with a soft, airy interior. If you don’t have time or interest in making bread, you can pick up a great loaf at about any grocery or bakery. Bagatelle at 6801 E. Harry sells some pretty amazing made-fresh bread.
Also serve this beef stew with an arugula salad. The spiciness of the greens with a slightly sweet vinaigrette will leave your taste buds satisfied. And with all the leftovers, you’ll get to savor the stew for a couple more meals.
Cheers to fall cooking, and to a season worth celebrating over and over.
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into inch cubes
5 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
3 ½ cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
Combine the flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef and toss to coat well. Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large pot. Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; add more oil as needed between batches.
Remove the beef from the pot and add the vinegar and wine. Cover over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the beef, beef broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover and cook, skimming broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add broth or water if the stew is dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle among 4 bowls and serve.
— New York Times