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Cold temperatures and bitter winds have parked themselves here in the Northeast over the last 4-5 days and with cold weather comes an increase in the consumption of comfort foods for yours trully. Comfort foods mean different things to different folks; for example, I’m comforted by the following food items: fresh bread, cheese, olives, salumi, pasta, rice, and stew!
Specifically on beef stew as a comfort food, I especially enjoy slow cooked beef with nice chunks of carrot and petite peas. My wife’s beef stew includes rosemary (fresh or dried), oregano (dried), and Chianti (hence the Italian moniker. Here’s the quick recipe:
Process and Ingredients:
- Season one pound of chuck beef with salt, pepper, garlic and oregano.
- Dredge the meat with ¼ cup of flour and shake off any excess.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.
- Brown the meat on all sides.
- Remove meat with a slotted spoon and all but about 2 tablespoons of oil (add more fresh oil if necessary).
- Add four carrots, one red onion, three stalks of celery, and one small potato (cut into large symmetrical pieces). Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the meat back to the pot.
- Cover the meat with equal parts of good, dry, red wine, fresh water, and tomato passato (you’ll want to barely cover the ingredients)
- Add two sprigs of fresh rosemary, bay leaf, and dried oregano
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer (cook for about two and a half hours or until the meat is fork tender).
- After the two and half hours, add salt and pepper to taste and one can of fresh or frozen peas. Enjoy with mashed potatoes.