Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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Stew – Beef

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Stew – Beef
by James Belardo

My mother’s cooking took to the stage when we moved to Canada in the late-seventies and that’s when I really discovered how well my mother cooked. Before that, we lived with my grandmother and she did most of the cooking. Since my mother was working she helped when she could.

This recipe evolved over the years as I first recalled my Mother’s recipe (included as a footnote) and then built on that. My wife also had a great influence as she suggested adding turnips, it was a fantastic idea. The turnips add a great earthy element which screams countryside to me.

Ingredients
2 lb. cubed stew beef (cut into 1/2-inch cubes) (use lamb for that authentic flavor, or veal or any combo of beef, lamb and veal or all three).
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1-2 cup sliced Cremini mushrooms
3 carrots, sliced
4-5 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium sized turnips, cubed (See *alternative below)
4 medium sized potatoes, cubed
1 cup frozen peas (fresh, if you can get ’em)
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes (roughly cut)
2-3 cups beef broth
1 pint of Guinness (or other dark ale or beer) (See *alternative below)
Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
bacon fat – optional
1/8 cup butter
salt and pepper
bay leaves
flour (Italian 00, multigrain or whole wheat)

*Alternative Ingredients (If not using turnips)
Red and Green Peppers
Basil
1 cup red wine

Preparation
Stew Beef – Marinate stew beef cubes in 1/2-3/4 cup wine, about 1/8-1/4 cup Worcestershire and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar for about an hour, Remove marinade and set aside. Coat cubes with flour, salt and pepper.
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PotatoesParboil cubed potatoes (w/skins still on). *note, do not throw out the potato-water. You will most-likely use it later

Garlic, Onions and (optional) Crushed Dried Hot PepperCrush the dried hot pepper using a mortar and pestle and then dice the garlic and onions.

Carrots, Celery, Mushrooms and Turnips (or Peppers)Slice carrots celery and mushrooms, the turnip cubes should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes.

TomatoesCut the canned tomatoes roughly, about 4 to 5 sections for each tomato

Instructions
1. In a Dutch oven sized pot, sauté the onions, garlic and hot pepper flakes (optional) in olive oil and bacon fat (optional).
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2. As garlic begins to brown and onions start to become translucent toss in floured and seasoned stew beef cubes. Throw in some more Worcestershire if you like and let meat brown (covered) for about 10 minutes or so.
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3. As the meat and onions cook, add the carrots and celery followed by the  turnips (or peppers). Let the carrots and celery soften, it takes about 5 minutes or so.
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4. When the vegetables begin to soften add the beer (or wine) along with the marinade you had saved; cover pot and bring to a simmer (stir often).
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5. After about 5-10 minutes, add the sliced mushrooms.
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6. Once the mushroom begin to soften, add some butter, the bay leaves and celery leaves (if you managed to save any).
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7. Once the stew comes to a simmer again, add 1 cup of beef broth.
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8. Let come to a simmer and add the tomato, mix well and cover pot to allow it come to simmer (stir often).
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9. Once stew has been simmering for about 5-10 minutes, add the parboiled potatoes (do NOT throw away the potato water!)
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10. Add some more butter if you like and another cup of beef broth if you like.
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11. Once stew comes to a boil again, it’s time to add the peas and 1 cup of the saved potato water.
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12. Finally, on the last cycle, add fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, salt and pepper (to taste). Cook on low for an additional hour or two (if you can). If more liquid is needed due to reduction, add an additional cup of the saved potato water or beef broth.
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Enjoy

My Mother’s Original Recipe
1 lb. chopped stew beef
1 Onion, chopped
1 clove fresh Garlic, crushed
3 Carrots, sliced
2 Potatoes, cubed
1-1/2 cups frozen Peas
8 oz Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1 tablespoon Bistro Brown Gravy Powder
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

In a large pot, add Olive Oil, Stew meat and stir until brown. You can prepare cubed Stew Meat by covering them with a thin layer of Flour. Add Vegetables, Tomato Sauce and enough Water to cover. Add crushed Garlic, Basil, Salt, Pepper, Bistro and Kitchen Bouquet. Cook for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

The Grape Gourmet
• health • wellness • culture • flavor •

a Mo’zArt Production

Written by Zio James

December 21, 2012 at 2:03 AM

3 Responses

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  1. […] Check out the recipe here. […]

  2. […] Brrr, today we woke up to the coldest day of the year. What this calls for is a little warm-me-up Beef Stew. […]

  3. […] as the last big stew of the winter season to help herald the coming of SPRINGTIME! Try our hearty Beef Stew recipe and don’t forget the […]


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