Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beef Stew

Now that this election is over, I am ready for some good comfort meals, especially the kind that don't break the budget. That may require planning around what I can buy on sale, or waiting for a certain cut of meat to go on sale before I can plan it, but that's o.k.

This dish is one that sounded good to me, and it really was. I have several good recipes for beef stew, and almost went back to one of my standbys at the last minute, but I'm glad I didn't. You can almost always get stew beef at a good price, or cut up a sale beef roast instead, so having several good beef stew recipes to turn to is a good thing.

My family loved this stew. Even my kids went back for seconds and I had to stop them from spooning all the mushrooms out (I made a double batch and wanted some mushrooms left for other half). I didn't end up cooking it in the crock pot, as planned, and I'm glad. Even though the crock pot is great for offering a hot meal at the end of a busy day, I don't think this stew would have been quite as good.

The only major adjustment I made to this recipe from Cooking Light (found at was to skip the ripe olives. Doug and the boys would have immediately decided that they didn't like it and it wasn't worth that for a little extra flavor. Without the olives it was so tasty I can't imagine it being better. As suggested at My Recipes, I served the stew in pasta bowls with a big spoon of mashed potatoes. I just did a quick, buttery mash with the hand masher and the rustic texture and buttery, salty potatoes were a perfect companion to this hot comforting stew. This recipe was simple to make, and nice enough to serve company.

Beef Stew

1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups cleaned, halved mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
2 cups peeled and diagonally cut carrot
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add beef and cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides
(cook in two batches if necessary so that meat browns instead of boils in juices).
Remove from pan.
Add mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic to pan;
cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return beef to pan.
Stir in water, wine, seasonings, tomatoes and bay leaves;
bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 to 2 hours, until beef is tender.
Discard bay leaves. Stir in vinegar. Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with hot mashed potatoes if desired.



Marilena said...

i love beef stew:) look delicious!

Shaun said...

LOVE your blog. Just stumbled upon it and am so inspired to get into the kitchen and try some of these things. As a working Mom with two little ones I don't get to cook from scratch that often but reading your blog I can cook vicariously at least!

Emily said...

This looks delicious! We're having a comfort food recipe contest and would love to have you enter one of your favorite recipes. Recipes can be submitted to

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Your kids eat mushrooms? I'm impressed! Of course, that would mean less for me...