Oct 2, 2015

Beef Stew

I'm over 50 and this is the first time I've made beef stew. In fact, I believe that it's the first time I've ever eaten beef stew. It won't be the last. Adapted from a recipe by long-time New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne.

4 pounds lean, boneless chuck steak
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
6 tablespoons flour
4 cups dry red wine (I used about two cups)
2 cups water (I used one can beef broth)
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
6 sprigs parsley, tied in a bundle
6 large carrots, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed and scraped
6 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
1 package sliced mushrooms (optional)

Cut the meat into two-inch cubes. Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the beef cubes in one layer. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning the pieces often, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the meat evenly. Add the wine and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the water. Add the cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover closely and simmer for one hour. Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-inch lengths. If the pieces are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to the beef. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley. Can serve over buttered noodles.