Sunday, May 16, 2010

They're Good Fine People...

A few weeks ago, I reached a glorious milestone in every woman's life: I turned thirty. Though I don't really feel like my body or activities reflect my age, it is still not something that I was excited about. Dave planned a little family party at our house, complete with a make-your-own taco bar, and I made some yummy sangria. To my surprise, my aunts and uncles brought presents! I really wasn't expecting that. Anyway, one of the gifts was a card for Chef Central, so I bought myself a Dutch Oven. I've been wanting one for a while, but they are just so expensive. A Lodge enameled cast iron 6-quart dutch oven was on sale, and it was perfect for the beef stew I planned to make last night. With my parents in the Catskills, I actually had enough time to plan and execute a slow-cooked meal on a Saturday. Prepared stew meat had been on sale a few weeks prior, so it was already in my freezer.

Beef Stew

1 lb Boneless Beef Chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 tbsp Flour
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 large Carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 small can Peas, drained
1 cup dry Red Wine
1 cup Beef Broth
1/4 tsp Dried Orange Peel
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Dried Bay Leaf
2 tbsp fresh Parsley for garnish

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in dutch oven. Dredge half of the beef through the flour, coating all sides, and shake off excess. Cook beef, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, and brown the other half of the beef. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and carrots, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in tomatoes, including any liquid, and add Peas. Add wine, broth and spices, stir well, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2-hours or so, until beef is very tender. Remove beef with slotted spoon, raise heat to high, and boil sauce for ten minutes. Stir beef back in, and ladle into bowls. Serve with bread or biscuits.

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