Recipe // Nana’s Beef Stew

Growing up in Florida, cold, winter days were few and far between, but when there was a chill in the air, my Nana would make her beef stew. This was hands-down my favorite meal that she cooked. It’s probably because it was so rare that we had it. It’s been in the 20s here in New Jersey for about a month now. I’ve been making soup regularly, but I wanted something a little more hearty this weekend. I decided on Nana’s Beef Stew.

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Here’s the recipe with a few tweaks. It was delicious and will be even better tomorrow. For some reason, stews are always better the second day. Must be that overnight flavor mingle that happens in the fridge.

Nana’s Beef Stew
Serves: 12 (or 6 big bowls)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

2 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 2-inch piece
2 T vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 c flour
3 cloves minced garlic
1 c red wine
3 c beef broth
1/2 t dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dried thyme
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch slices
3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled (or unpeeled and scrubbed clean) and cut in eighths
1 14oz can cut green beans
1 c frozen peas
1 T red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
fresh parsley to garnish (optional)

On medium-high heat, add oil to a large heavy pot.
When the oil begins to shimmer and smoke slightly, add the beef and brown it. If necessary, brown the beef in batches.
Once browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon set aside.
Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add a pinch of salt to help them sweat.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flour will start to thicken as it comes to a simmer.

Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary. Return the beef (and any juices collected) back to the pot.
Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on low for about an hour.

After an hour, add potatoes, carrots, and celery, and simmer covered for another 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, salting and peppering to taste.

Turn off heat and add peas, green beans and stir in vinegar.
Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the fresh parsley if desired. Serve with bread and butter and a side salad.


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