Recipe: Dutch Oven Beef Stew

It snowed here yesterday. Our first real snow of winter. Many are excited. My little man being one. I am not. The tortures of midwestern life. After being out in it a few times during the day I thought my family needed something homey and warm for dinner. I also thought what a great chance to bring out my new dutch oven!

I got a beautiful green dutch oven for Christmas. Love it. Thanks Mom. The great thing about cooking with a dutch oven is how well they hold heat and can cook things on lower heat for long periods of time. They can also be popped straight into the oven. Perfect for making this rich and hearty beef stew.

What you will need:
stew beef (mine was 1.5 lbs)
2 - 3 celery stalks with leaves
2 carrots
1 onion
2 potatoes
3 gloves of garlic
1/2 Cup red wine
1 Cup beef stock
1 Tbs thyme
2 bay leaves
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste

Heat dutch oven on high heat with oil and butter. Your pan should be very hot for searing the beef.

Remove stew beef from package and place on a paper towel. Blot excess water from meat.

Stick meat in a bowl and add flour. Toss to coat. You will be cooking these in batches.

You do not want to crowd the beef in the pan. If the meat is too close to each other they will begin to steam each other instead of brown. Brown beef on each side and transfer to a plate. Reduce heat. It took me three batches. I chopped my veggies while I waited.

Mmmm brown tough beef. While this is cooking in the stew for three hours it will become nice and tender.

Mince garlic. Add to pot. Careful not to burn the garlic. Saute

Chop celery including leaves & onion. Add to pot. Saute in oil and butter for 1 - 2 minutes. Add wine and stock and stire scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back up to med-high.Chop carrots and add to pot.

It should look like this! Cover and bring to a boil.
Add two bay leaves.
Add thyme.
Add salt and pepper. Once it boils, reduce heat and cover and cook at a simmer on med-low heat for two hours.
With one hour left add two diced potatoes. I leave on the skin. It helps hold the potato together. The potato will also thicken the soup a bit. Cover and cook another hour.
mmmm....when there is about 20 min left reduce heat to low and make some corn bread to go with it. I omit eggs and use mayo instead. It makes for a really moist and kind of tangy cornbread. I'll never make it the old way again.

It is really delicious. Sometimes I like to sit the corn bread right in it and eat it together. The wine and the bay leaf add this rich flavor to it. It is perfect for when it is cold outside!



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