Yep. I am completely aware that this blog essentially died thanks to a complete lack of attention in the last few months. It reminds me of my days as a youth, when those little tamagotchi doodads were all the rage amongst the preteen clans and I killed mine off every other recess.
But, no sense wallowing or boring everyone with a long tirade about how busy and important I am. Blah blah blah! Fall is here and it’s time to get serious. Leaves are dying. The sun is going to bed earlier. Decorative gourds are popping up on tables all across America. And, most delightfully: comfort food is settling in for a nice long winter.
And what is more quintessentially fall than a savory, hearty beef stew? Other than pumpkin this-or-that, there’s not a whole lot that can sub in for such a treat. My dear father (an endless source of delicious recipes) provided me with the perfect recipe: a tomato-based sauce with lots of garlic and rosemary that cooks for hours, providing you and all your neighbors with intoxicating aromas.
The French use wine, the Germans use beer, and the Italians use tomatoes; whatever the acidic component is you choose for your stew, just make sure it cooks for hours and hours. It will ensure that the toughness of the meat breaks down and leaves you with tender, falling apart chunks of glory.
- 3-4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-2" chunks and dried thoroughly with paper towels
- 2 stalks celery, sliced fine
- 5 cloves of garlic, sliced find
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ⅓ c red wine
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, place one layer of the stew beef down and sprinkle with salt.
- Brown the beef on all sides (6-8 minutes per side), working in batches. Set aside.
- Lower heat to medium low and add the garlic and celery to the pan. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the pan with the wine, then add the beef, tomatoes, and rosemary. Stir until combined, cover, and cook for 4-5 hours on the lowest temperature, or until the meat is fork tender. Make sure to stir frequently and add wine in ¼ c increments if the stew gets dry.
- Salt to taste and serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or-- my personal favorite-- parsnip and celery root puree with a touch of horseradish. Nom!