I have a great recipe find for you this week! It’s a bit different from your typical stew but it’s still hearty, comforting and will make your house smell amazing as it simmers away on your stove. The recipe comes from Cozi’s Family Dinner Club, a monthly newsletter from Cozi where they share their favorite recipes for delicious, easy dinners. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from them!
This hearty stew is filled with tender beef, potatoes, mushrooms and a thick & silky red wine & tomato sauce. As is typical, I did make some changes to the recipe from the way it was printed (it’s a chef’s obligation, what can I say :) The recipe as-is is great but I’ve also listed the changes I made below. But I’m certain that no matter how you choose to make yours it will be delicious!
Northern Italian Beef Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes Servings: 8
Cook Time: 4 to 6 hours
“This hearty beef and vegetable stew that can be made in the slow-cooker
is a family favorite. It is also the backbone for an excellent beef
soup, if you actually find yourself with leftovers. Freezes well too!”
- 2 lbs lean top round or bottom round, trimmed of fat, cut into 1″ cubes.
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions- diced
- 2 cups celery- cut into chunks
- 4 large carrots- peeled and cut into large rounds
- 1 lb crimini or button mushrooms- cut into chunks or thick slices
- 2 Tb minced garlic
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 1/2 lb red bliss A creamers- cut in halves or quarters (1″ chunks)
- 4 large tomatoes- chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 Tb fresh)
- 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano (or 1 Tb fresh)
- 1/2 tsp dried sage (or 2 tsp fresh)
- 1 Tb dried basil or 1 Tb fresh minced
- 1 Qt beef stock
- 1/2 Qt marinara or tomato sauce
1. In a hot skillet, brown towel-dried pieces of beef in olive oil, in
batches to avoid over-crowding. Remove beef and set aside.
2. In the same pan on very high heat, brown the onions, celery, and
carrots briefly until browned. Add garlic and mushrooms and deglaze with
the red wine. Cook until all the liquid is cooked off and add tomatoes,
scraping any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
3. Add all remaining ingredients and either cook uncovered on a low
simmer on the stove top or in a crock pot for 4 to 6 hours(boiling very
low) or until beef is very tender and sauce is thick.
4. Serve in bread bowls, in bowls with crusty bread, OR over noodles or
The Wicked Noodle’s changes and tips:
- Be sure to sear your beef in batches if necessary. One layer with space around each piece of meat so they sear and don’t steam. You want them brown, not gray.
- I kept the heat on high and added my mushrooms after removing browned beef. Allow your shrooms to cook over high heat until very browned (this is where the flavor is)! It may take a little while but once all the water evaporates from the shrooms they will really begin to brown and have a nice depth of flavor.
- I reduced the heat to medium when adding my mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions). I let them sweat for about 10 minutes. I also added my garlic to the pan at this step.
- If using dried herbs, especially those that have been around awhile, add them to the pan along with the mirepoix. This will bring out some of their essential oils and bring out their flavor.
- After the pan is deglazed with wine and there is little liquid left, I add a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste and a couple tablespoons of flour, then stir and cook it for a few minutes so no raw flour taste will remain. This will add a depth of flavor and thicken the stew a little.
- I forgo fresh tomatoes in the winter when I can’t get them freshly picked from the vine, so instead I used two cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- You can leave this simmering on the stove a few hours or just bring to a boil, cover and leave in a 300F oven.
- Don’t forget to season to taste once everything is tender and ready to go!