Bad Blogger Beef Stew

When last we left our heroine, she was munching on roasted chick peas, throwing avocado on anything edible, cooking you shrimp scampi and promising her dear readers a version of one her most favoritist meals of all time.

But then things happened, which, in no particular order involved tight deadlines, covering at work for a honeymooner, and a 75 pound dog named Charley.

The favoritist meal ever is coming, I promise. But first, let’s warm things up with an oft’ taken for granted classic that happens to be not only delicious, but also one heck of a veggie fake-out.

Root Vegetable Beef Stew w/ Gremolata
adapted from Jamie’s Dinners
serves 4

1 & 1/2 pounds cubed chuck (stew meat is cheap! Buy organic/grass-fed!)
handful fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
an assortment of cubed root veggies, which may or may not include – rutabaga, butternut squash, garnet  yams, sweet potatoes, sunchokes, celeriac, fingerlings, carrots, parsnips
2 tablespoons tomato paste
14 oz beef stock
1/2 bottle red wine

for the Gremolata

zest of one lemon
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Step 1: In a dutch oven or heavy soup pot, saute the onion and sage leaves in olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, toss the beef cubes with a couple tablespoons flour and plenty of salt & pepper. Step 2: Add the root veggies one at a time, giving each veggie its own time at the bottom of the pan before adding the next ingredient, adding salt as you go. Do the same with the tomato paste. Step 3: Add the meat to the pan, give it a stir, and add the liquids. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Step 4: You now have a choice. You could cook on the stovetop for 3 -4 hours, stirring occasionally, or, you could cover and put the whole pan into a 350F oven for 3 or so hours. I have tried both ways, and I think I prefer cooking it in the oven. Step 5: Cook until the meat is falling apart. Spoon into bowls, top with the gremolata, and enjoy.

Did you notice anything interesting about the recipe? I don’t brown the meat before making the stew, I just add it right in, and honestly, I can’t imagine a more tasty fall-apart-on-your-fork stew meat. Also, the addition of gremolata to a beef stew is a bit unexpected, and seriously, it makes the difference between simply being a comfort food classic, and giving beef stew a flavor that’s complex and guest-worthy.

And let’s not forget that this was a veggie fake-out. My husband happily gobbles this stew up by the bowlful, despite its being laden with carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and garnet yams (I couldn’t find sunchokes yesterday, and I missed them, they are ridiculously good in this stew.)

On our official veggie fake-out broccoli head rating scale, I give this recipe 7 out of 10 heads of broccoli.

9 comments to Bad Blogger Beef Stew

  • i always love beef stew hehehe just did an indonesian version a while ago, and now waiting for xmas gift of pressure cooker to do more stews in the future hehehe

  • yum, stew. event though it’s looking very spring-y today, i would gladly eat a bowl of that. i love the gremolata addition, what a fresh perk.

  • This looks fabulous, and, is so much what I’d like to make, that it helps to redeem your recent absentia. Also, hold onto your collar. I’ve nominated you for a Blogger With a Purpose award. See my link!

  • Oh, P.S. I’m stoked you posted about gremolata. I bought some marrow bones to roast and I thought gremolata would be the perfect topper.

  • I am interested in the food culture of your country. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site.
    From Japan

  • Jj

    Sounds like a very healthy and best of all, very tasty stew, thanks!

  • Looks really tasty…so tasty, in fact, that I just sliced up all the veggies and am getting ready to cook. Yum!

  • Stewpified

    Ahem, hello, I’ve been staking this place out lately. Your not bad… :oP

    However, I must take issue on the dish of the gods.

    There is are strict traditions on stew, it’s creation, it’s contents and it’s delivery and you have shunned this in what can only be described as a fashion tantemount to blasphemy.

    Let’s start with your veg. There’s a strict restriction on those that can grace a stew and you have violated the laws with your ‘rutabaga, butternut squash, garnet yams, sweet potatoes, sunchokes, celeriac and fingerlings’. Hello?

    Parsnip. Carrot. Onions. Peas at a stretch.

    Requirement: chunky.

    Do you think that the great famine of 1847 would have occurred had we had access to bok choi, sweet potatoes or mange tout? I don’t remember Cromwell saying ‘to hell or to sainsburys’ from history class.

    The meat – Wine? What? Am I a frog? I’m afraid I’ve only ever smelt of onions after a charity event. Your beef should be browned in Uncle Arthurs finest. Keep the wine for the venison stews. Bit of worchester too – or even vegemite, to increase the beefiness in honour of those exiled to the colonies of van demons land.

    On to this gremolata business – sorry? This is not ice-cream with sprinkles. Brown sauce. HP if your poor, Chef if you’ve obtained middle class status.

    And where’s the dipper? EVERYONE who’s ANYONE knows you need a sensational bit of dipper to mop up the remainder.

    Finally – lord god almighty, strike me down with a rubber chicken. Oven stew? Why don’t you just nuke it in the microwave? I’m dying here. It’s pot, slow, over the course of a day.

    In summary, you should follow the follow equation: TH = HS + Mk (ft)2 + Br(RB(BS R WB))

    TH = Total Happiness; HS = Hearty Stew; Mk = Milk (full fat) by the jug; Br = Bread; RB = Real Butter; BS = Brown Soda; WB = White Batchloaf.

    Y’know, people have been hung for less……

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