This is my version of a Cooks Illustrated recipe. I strongly recommend you purchase their Best Recipe book (older) or the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook: 2000 Recipes from 20 Years…
I cut my meat a little smaller and cook the stew a little longer than the Cooks but their initial recipe was excellent. It is even better served over mashed potatoes.
You need a 6 – 8 quart dutch oven and a way to heat it on the stove before putting it into the oven. I have a glass stove-top (which doesn’t work well with cast iron) so I use a small butane catering stove (about $20) to start the stew before putting it into the oven.
Makes about 3 quarts (12 cups).
- 3 pounds of beef chuck roast. Cut into about 1″ cubes.
- Salt and Pepper (2 Tbsp salt added to meat and 1.5 tsp pepper added when carrots are added)
- 3 Tbsp clarified butter (or vegetable oil)
- 2 medium onions, chopped (roughly)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1.5 teaspoons prepared, minced)
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup of red wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1.5 lbs of red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (I didn’t peel them, I just washed them)
- 1 lb of carrots (half a bag) peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves or 1 Tbsp of dried parsley
- Lower the oven rack so the pot will fit into the middle of the oven
- Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees
- Cut the beef and remove any excess water with paper towels (dry meat browns better)
- Heat 1 Tbsp of clarified butter or oil on medium-high heat in the dutch oven. The oil should be very hot but not smoking.
- Put half the meat into the hot oil and brown it on all sides.
- Move the browned meat into a bowl to make room for the other half.
- Put another 1 Tbsp of oil into the dutch oven and brown the other half of the meat.
- Remove the second half of the meat.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add another 1 Tbsp of oil and the chopped onions.
- Cook 4 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute (don’t cook longer because the garlic will burn).
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until the flour is absorbed and starts to brown. It will stick to the bottom of the pan but that is OK, adding the wine will de-glaze the pan.
- Add the wine and stir until the bottom of the pan is clean again. The liquid will thicken.
- Slowly add the chicken broth so you don’t cool the mixture. Stir together and scrape any residual mixture off the sides.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, and the meat into the pot and heat until bubbling.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- While the stew is cooking, chop your vegetables and place them in a bowl. cover them with cold water to keep them from turning brown.
- After 1 hour, remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots (do not add the peas and parsley).
- Place the frozen peas into a container to allow them to thaw.
- Cook for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the meat and the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the pot from the oven, stir in the peas and parsley and serve.