Comfort Week: Beef & Mushroom Stew - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Comfort Week: Beef & Mushroom Stew

When Laura and I decided that this week's theme would be com­fort food, we were, of course, think­ing about the weather. Mid­dle of Feb­ru­ary, spring still many weeks away, cold, icy winds, slip­pery side walks, the works. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to lock the doors and win­dows before tuck­ing into a warm bowl of… com­fort food! What I could not antic­i­pate was that I would need com­fort against some­thing more insid­i­ous, more pro­found. I don't even have a name for what's ail­ing me. You tell me. The other night Esme and I were in the bath­room together, she was brush­ing her teeth while I brushed her hair. My sweet baby (only just 6!) started to gig­gle and then let loose with a self-satisfied ren­di­tion of "I'm Sexy and I Know It" as I looked on with my jaw hang­ing open. To be hon­est, it was only the lovely cho­rus that she'd picked up — from where? from whom? — but still. Horror.

beefstew

 

photo by Maya Vis­nyei

And.… home school? Con­vent? How do I make this stop? I'm not sure I'm down with the bar­gain where we send her off to school and she comes home A++ on her Can­tonese home work but also with the lyrics to LMFAO songs. The only thing that did com­fort me through my ordeal was dol­ing out the time-honoured "Wait until your Dad hears this" card. Oh, and Ben will need to start his own blog to share his reac­tion to Esme's song but trust me, it was really good. Plus, the dear friends of the Twitter-sphere who sug­gested I could con­vince Esme the words were really, I'm Sassy and I Know It, or best of all, I'm Elmo and I Know It (the video is quite hilarious).

So, can a din­ner help with my despair? Not really, since it can't stop time and that's the real prob­lem here. How­ever, (hold on tight for the huge leap here okay? ) this stew is really good. It's savoury, obvi­ously, but also sweet from the car­rots and tastes like heaven with a side of mashed pota­toes.  I've made a few times in the last month and it never dis­ap­points. It takes very lit­tle time to get it going and then it bub­bles away on the stove on its own, fill­ing your home with amaz­ing smells and the good feel­ing of know­ing a great din­ner is ahead of you. It's a great thing to make on a week­end after­noon because you've got a lit­tle time to put­ter away. Plus, there's no bad influ­ences around, teach­ing your kid the lyrics to sexed-up pop songs. Or at least in can feel like that.

Beef and Mush­room Stew

2 lbs stew­ing beef
2 Tbsps flour
salt and pep­per
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 cloves gar­lic, minced
1 lb mush­rooms, halved or quar­tered, depend­ing on size
2 large car­rots, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white or red wine (optional)
4 cups beef broth

Method

Shake flour out onto a plate and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Now dredge your pieces of meat through the flour mak­ing sure that every sur­face gets a light coating.

Pull out a big pot or dutch oven and warm up your olive oil in it over medium heat. Work­ing in batches, brown your meat. You don't want to over crowd you pot or you'll end up sort of steam­ing it which won't give you the nice brown crust you're look­ing to form. Don't worry about cook­ing the meat through, that will hap­pen later. Place the cooked meat on a clean plate as you work and set aside. There's going to be lots of gunky brown stuff on the bot­tom of your pot and that is good. Really good.

Once all of your meat is browned and set aside, get your onion and gar­lic in the pot to sautee and soften, about 3 min­utes. Now toss in the mush­rooms and thyme. It will take a few moments for the mush­rooms to begin to soften and kick off some mois­ture but they will! Keep stir­ring every­thing around. Now add your tomato paste and stir it so every­thing gets coated. Let that cook for a cou­ple of minutes.

If you're cook­ing with wine, add it now. It's not nec­es­sary but it does add a great flavour (and all the alco­hol will burn off so don't worry about that!). Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bot­tom of the pot now to loosen up all that caramelized beefy good­ness. Add your stock and the beef, bring it to a sim­mer, cover and let it do it's thing for about an hour. Now add your car­rots and sim­mer away just until they're ten­der, about 10 more minutes.

Oh, and while all that is hap­pen­ing you'll want to boil some pota­toes to mash as noth­ing tastes as good with beef stew as some but­tery mashed potatoes.

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4 Comments

  1. […] Look­ing to cook up some beef stew just like this. […]

  2. Andi says:

    My hubby made this stew for din­ner tonight and it was deli­cious! He joked that he felt like lick­ing the plate so he could savor every last bit of it.

    Luck­ily he made enough for left­overs, so I'm already look­ing for­ward to tomorrow's lunch. :)

    Thank you for the awe­some recipe!

  3. […] Beef and Mush­room Stew is also made in one pot which gives me one more rea­son (not that I needed another!) to make it this weekend. […]

  4. […] is the only Beef and Mush­room Stew recipe you need — it's hearty and deli­cious. Mak­ing it fills your home with amaz­ing smells […]

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