Adapted from The Kitchn Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand and Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin.
The Kitchn adapted this recipe from Laurie Colwin's delectable Home Cooking, and I have adapted it further.
The Kitchn's recipe calls for 2 russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes, to be added with the other vegetables; however, I don't add potatoes. I feel they thicken the stew too much, especially if you have leftovers, and they crumble into it. If I wanted to eat this with potatoes, I would steam creamer potatoes cut in half, toss them with butter, and serve with the stew, not in the stew.
This is delicious served over buttered noodles or (my favorite) creamy polenta, with buttered green beans, and a watercress and radish salad (dressed with Julia Moskin's French Vinaigrette) served on the side.
Laurie Colwin's Beef Stew
Adapted from The Kitchn Cookbook and Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds beef chuck, grass-fed if you can get it, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
About 1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Wondra Flour
2 cups red wine (whatever you will drink with the stew)
14.5 ounces tomato puree or passata (which is the same thing; I like Mutti Passata)
1/4 cup tomato paste
14 ounce can of Italian tomatoes (I like Mutti Polpo* - finely chopped tomatoes)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 garlic cloves, smashed
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
*If you do not have Mutti Polpo, I suggest you use Muir Glen Whole Peel Tomatoes, which you finely smush/chop in a bowl, using your fingers and/or kitchen shears. Also, note that tomato puree/passata is not the same thing as tomato sauce.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the flour, paprika, and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Toss in the beef cubes, a few at a time, and keep turning them over and over until they are completely and thickly covered in flour. Set the cubes aside on a plate as you go along. Keep each cube separate, not one on top of another.
Heat 2 to 3 glugs of olive oil in a black iron skillet. Make sure the olive oil coats the bottom of the skillet evenly, and get it hot over medium heat. Brown the cubes all over, and remove them one by one to another clean plate as you go along until they are all browned. If the flour in the bottom of the skillet starts to burn at any time, clean it out, and start with fresh olive oil.
Add enough olive oil to a large Dutch oven - I use a 7-1/4 quart Le Creuset Round French Oven for this - and sprinkle in a little Wondra Flour, about 2 tablespoons. Cook, stirring; it does not have to brown; you are not making roux. You should want to eliminate the taste of uncooked flour.
Add the red wine, tomato puree, tomato paste, Italian tomatoes, salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Sitr, and cook until the sauce warms up and amalgamates, about 5 minutes.
Place half of the meat into the pot, followed by half of the smashed garlic cloves, half of the carrots, and half of the onions. Add the remaining ingredients in the same order. Top with the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.
Cover the pot, and place it in the oven. Cook for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Remove the cover, and cook for 20 minutes more.
Serve over polenta, buttered noodles, or steamed and buttered halved creamer potatoes.
|Browned Beef Cubes|