When winter weather finally has arrives I hope the air is chilled and we’ll have no more 70-degree weather until April or May.
While many may disagree and warmer weather has its virtues, I think they have their time and place — spring and Florida.
When the weather turns its coldest, I like to the day in sped the kitchen — without guilt. The garden remains dormant, and the house chores can wait.
What better way to warm the bones on a bitterly cold day than with a bowl of beef stew? This recipe can be made on the stovetop, in the oven or in a crock pot. I favor the oven. Relatively easy, it involves some chopping, searing and then roasting. Your home will fill with an aroma that perhaps will remind you of the comforting stew you may have had as a child after a day of sledding.
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup flour, gluten-free
Salt and pepper
2 large onions, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons thyme, dried
1 cup red wine
3 cups beef broth (gluten-free)
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound of small red potatoes
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
Position oven rack to the lower middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Place the flour in a plastic bag and then the beef and shake until evenly coated then shake off any excess. Once the oil is hot, add half of the beef and brown for 8 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and continue with the remaining beef.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and cook 5 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Then stir in the garlic and cook another minute or two.
Add the bay leaves and thyme and season again with salt and pepper. Add the beef and then the red wine and broth. Stir, cover and place in the oven for one hour.*
After the first hour ad the carrots and potatoes, cover and return to the oven for another hour.
Finally stir in the peas and check the seasonings for taste. The meat is done when it is fork-tender. Remove the bay leaves and serve with biscuits or a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the gravy.
* If cooking this in a crock-pot add the potatoes and carrots and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 6 to 7 hours.
* If cooking on the stovetop follow the same directions as cooking in the oven, over a low temperature.