Beef Stew with Red Wine
Serve this family favorite over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
3½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 14½-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 10-ounce package white button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 cup water
1. Using paper towel, blot beef dry. In large bowl, toss beef with salt, pepper, and flour.
2. Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat in a single layer; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pot and transfer to a bowl. Add ½ cup of the wine to pot and store with a wooden spoon, scraping up loose bits on the bottom of the pot. Wine will thicken and combine with pot bits to make a thick sauce. Lift pot off heat and scrape this sauce onto the browned beef. Return pot to heat; add 2 tablespoons oil. Brown remaining beef as above and transfer to bowl. Add another ½ cup wine; deglaze* pot as above and transfer to browned beef.
3. Warm remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, until softened, stirring often. Add remaining ¼ cup wine, stirring until wine boils off. Return beef and juices in bowl to pot. Add broth, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally and adding water to desired consistency.
4. Stir in carrots, mushrooms, and 1 cup water; cover and cook 1 hour, until meat and vegetables are tender. Do not let stew boil; keep at a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
The key to rich beef flavor is *deglazing the pan using wine. This process scrapes up all the browned bits left from cooking the beef and incorporates them into the sauce. The alcohol is cooked off in this process.
Recipe from "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook."