Make-Ahead Beef Stew

If you were around for last Thursday’s post, then you would know that make-ahead dishes are awesome. Not only do they allow me to make it through bouts of nausea (cooking in short sprints–yay!), but I can freeze them for days when I am tired and don’t want to do any cooking. Of course, some recipes don’t taste as good when they are leftovers, but this stew gets better over time. The original recipe even says you should make this ahead for the best results.

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I think next time I might add some more vegetables just to mix it up. Parsnips sound like a really good idea. Oh, and K thought that Worcestershire sauce would be good. He even added a bit to his. So, if you like that kind of flavor, you might want to add a bit at the end, too!

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This made plenty of servings. Probably 6-8, easily. So, it’s a bit of work on the front end of things, but then you can enjoy it for a while!

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Directions for Make-Ahead Beef Stew

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (trim off the silvery skin and excess far, then cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Used Later in the Recipe:

  • 1.5 pounds red (or purple) potatoes, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 5-6 carrots, cleaned and chopped into thin coins
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Move the oven racks as necessary to fit a large oven and stovetop-safe pot, like a Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef if necessary, then season with salt and pepper. Add a tiny bit of oil to the pot, and turn the heat to medium-high. Brown the meat in batches, keeping the batches small.

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Transfer the browned batches to a bowl until ready to use. Add more oil as necessary to keep the beef from sticking.

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Once all of the meat is cooked, add the onion to the pot. If needed, add more oil. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it softens.

Still a bit raw here.

Still a bit raw here.

Then, stir in the tomato paste and garlic.

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After 1 minute, add the flour, cooking for an additional minute.

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Slowly add the wine, scraping up browned bits.

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Add the broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef (along with any juices from the beef bowl).

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Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.

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After 1 hour in the oven….

After the hour, add the potatoes and carrots along with a bit more pepper (salt if you think it is necessary).

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Cover and continue to cook in the oven until the beef is tender (an additional hour). At this time, you can bring the pot out of the oven and let it cool enough to put it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, you can put it in a storage container and freeze it for 1 month. You can remove the bay leaves at this point so that you don’t have to remember them later.

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When ready to have the soup, simply bring it back up to a low simmer, remove the bay leaves if you haven’t already, and then add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat when it is hot enough, then stir in the peas and let the pot sit (covered) for 5 minutes.

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Give one last stir then serve.

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Directions for Make-Ahead Beef Stew (without pictures)

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (trim off the silvery skin and excess far, then cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Used Later in the Recipe:

  • 1.5 pounds red (or purple) potatoes, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 5-6 carrots, cleaned and chopped into thin coins
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Move the oven racks as necessary to fit a large oven and stovetop-safe pot, like a Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef if necessary, then season with salt and pepper. Add a tiny bit of oil to the pot, and turn the heat to medium-high. Brown the meat in batches, keeping the batches small. Transfer the browned batches to a bowl until ready to use. Add more oil as necessary to keep the beef from sticking.

Once all of the meat is cooked, add the onion to the pot. If needed, add more oil. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it softens. Then, stir in the tomato paste and garlic. After 1 minute, add the flour, cooking for an additional minute. Slowly add the wine, scraping up browned bits. Add the broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef (along with any juices from the beef bowl). Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.

After the hour, add the potatoes and carrots along with a bit more pepper (salt if you think it is necessary). Cover and continue to cook in the oven until the beef is tender (an additional hour). At this time, you can bring the pot out of the oven and let it cool enough to put it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, you can put it in a storage container and freeze it for 1 month. You can remove the bay leaves at this point so that you don’t have to remember them later.

When ready to have the soup, simply bring it back up to a low simmer, remove the bay leaves if you haven’t already, and then add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat when it is hot enough, then stir in the peas and let the pot sit (covered) for 5 minutes. Give one last stir then serve.

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9 thoughts on “Make-Ahead Beef Stew

      • I have “Family Baking Book” (blue binder book) which has a lot of dessert recipes and tons of baking tips. The other is “The Best Simple Recipes,” which has easy dinner/lunch recipes (most which they claim can be made in 30 minutes or less). I love the latter best so far. Made 3 recipes so far and all came out delicious. I’ll be posting those recipes in the future. I look forward to making more recipes from both both books. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Tips-y Tuesdays: Better Beef for Slow-Cooking and Stews | fudgingahead

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