Basic Beef Stew

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One of the things I love about Winter is snuggling up on the couch in front of a good movie with a hot bowl of soup or stew. I have a small collection of tried-and-true favorites I make year after year. My husband is a big fan of beef stew and I’ve tried several recipes over the years from different cookbooks but I’ve been using the Basic Beef Stew recipe from the January 2006 issue of Cooking Light for the last year and we love it. It’s quite simple with few ingredients but the taste is perfect beef stew. Two of the regular modifications I make is omitting mushrooms quite often as dear hubby dislikes them and also using dried thyme instead of fresh as it’s easier to find at grocery stores. I also tend to double this recipe so we have a big pot to last a few day. This also allows me to freeze some. This recipe does take over two hours to cook so prepare to make this on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The stew is best eaten the next day after it has had a chance to thicken. Enjoy!

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms

From Cooking Light
A crowd-pleaser, this recipe is justifiably a classic. Purchase precut lean stew beef, or cut lean beef sirloin or chuck into bite-sized pieces. White potatoes, not to be confused with baking potatoes, are waxy in texture and hold up well in soups and stews; you can substitute red potatoes. Halve any mushrooms that are larger than 1 1/2 inches.


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound small cremini mushrooms
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled white potato (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices carrot (about 12 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Spoon mushrooms into a large bowl. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture. Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to mushroom mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/8 teaspoon salt.Add 1 cup wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Stir in beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is just tender.Stir in potato and carrot. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)CALORIES 303 (29% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 26.4g; CHOLESTEROL 71mg; CALCIUM 54mg; SODIUM 494mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 3.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.8g Cooking Light, JANUARY 2006

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