Monday, December 30, 2013

Beef Stew in the Le Creuset

Beef Stew in the Le Creuset... I am excited to announce that one of my most lovely gifts this Holiday season was a much desired Le Creuset dutch oven. I have been wanting one for ages and I can finally say that I am a proud owner! To christen this bad boy I decided a hearty beef stew would be proper. There are so many stew recipe's out there and after perusing the gamete I finally decided to sort of follow along with one I saw posted by The Pioneer Woman. This was my first successful experience in browning meat and then cooking until fork tender - that part definitely worked. Unfortunately I have a pretty bad cold so my taste buds are suppressed in terms of being able to judge the flavor fully. I think if I make this next time I would continue to add more salt/pepper/spices if the flavor was not quite robust enough, but I think this is a really good way to start off a stew. Additionally, this was a pretty liquidy stew, which I knew going into it. If you wanted it to be thicker, I would suggest cutting the liquid in half.

What I used:
2 lbs stew meat
4 cups beef broth (I would cut this in half next time, or perhaps use 1 can tomato soup and 1 can beef broth)
12 oz beer
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil/butter for cooking
Carrots (PW suggests 4 large, I used two small packets of baby carrots)
Potatoes (4-5 medium sized red potatoes)
Green Beans (just eyeball it - you can do it)

Heat oil and butter in the pan to sear the meat. I did this in two batches - once the first batch was browned on all sides (think 3-5 minutes in total) I placed them on a plate and added the second batch. Once all of the meat was seared I added the diced onion and the 3 crushed/chopped garlic cloves. Next I added all of the other ingredients in and gave it a good mix. While it came to a boil I cut some of the larger pieces of stew meat into small bite sized pieces and then added all of the meat back to the stew - as Pioneer Woman points out, include the meat juice when you dump it back in!

From there I pretty much turned it to low and put the lid on the pot and let it do it's thing for about 2.5 hours. At that point I added in a bunch of chopped carrots and potatoes for another 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before serving I also added chopped green beans.

The new beauty

Diced onion and garlic

stew meat

First round of browning

First batch on the right, second batch browning

Sauteing the onions and garlic

Cut the meat in smaller peices

Add it all to the pot and simmer



I can't wait to get over this cold and try this recipe again and I can actually taste it and give an update!! In terms of ease and texture I was super pleased with the whole thing. Look out for more Dahlicious posts that will include my new Le Creuset!

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