Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Savory Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

The chilly weather is moving in here in the Northeast, and that means it's the season for soups and stews. Beef stew is a winter staple in our house, but I decided I wanted to play around a little bit to see if I could come up with something with some different flavors.

This stew is pretty versatile, as you can adjust the herbs and spices to your liking, as well as play with which root vegetables you include.

Read on to see what I did.

 Savory Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

  • 1-2 pounds beef, cut into large chunks (or buy it pre-cut by a butcher)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3-4 plum tomatoes
  • 3-4 white potatoes, depending on size, peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and cut
  • 2 -3 cups root vegetables (parsnips, beets, turnips, yams, etc.), peeled and cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine, like a pinot grigio (optional)
Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a 4-quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute the onion and garlic until tender, then add the chunk beef and brown on all sides. 

Add the tomatoes whole and slice each one part way through. Add the herbs and spices, stir and allow to saute for a few minutes.

Prepare your root vegetables. I used white potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, but any type of root veggies you like would be great in this. Add them to the pot, then add enough water to cover, about two cups. A splash of a dry white wine, if you're using it, would go in now.

Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring periodically and making sure the tomatoes are crushed, until the veggies are fork tender. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve with crusty bread.

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