Sunday, May 22, 2011

Amazing Primal Beef Stew

I took a Test Kitchen recipe and tweaked it a bit for dinner tonight. It was amazing. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a handful of parsley. The original recipe called for some, but I forgot to pick some up when I did the shopping. I'll be adding it for leftovers tomorrow.

Primal Beef Stew
4 slices bacon, chopped small
3 lbs beef spare ribs, cut in bite-size pieces
Salt & Pepper
2 medium onions, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c red wine (I used a 2009 McWilliams Shiraz)
3 1/2 c chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp thyme
3/4 lb carrots, 1/4" slices
4 ribs celery 1/4 - 1/2" slices
1 bag frozen pearl onions
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
1/4 c arrowroot powder 
1/4 c water
1/4-1/2 c parsley (to taste)

In a heavy, oven-proof dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon, leaving fat in the pan, and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Toss beef with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Increase heat to med-high and cook 1/2 beef at a time until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the beef. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Add chopped onions to pot and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine. Bring to a simmer and scrape browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Allow wine to reduce slightly, by 1/4 or so. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, carrots and celery. Return beef and bacon to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid and put in oven. Cook undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours, add pearl onions and mushrooms. Return to oven and continue to cook 30 minutes longer, or until pearl onions are slightly soft and beef is tender.
Remove pan from oven and heat over medium heat on the stove top. Bring to a simmer. Whisk arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Drizzle into stew while stirring. Continue to stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add parsley and serve.

We had ours with a side of pureed cauliflower, mixed greens salad and a glass of the leftover wine. It was wonderful after a long day and would be perfect for a rainy day dinner.

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