Book: I started reading “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. It is one of those books on Amazon with
5000 reviews. Scratch that – it now has over 8,000 reviews with almost 5 stars!
Recipe: This recipe is a healthier version of beef stew from America’s Test Kitchen. Adding a lot of extra vegetables to the recipe decreases the calories by 300 and 16 grams of fat for a typical beef stew recipe. Nobody turns down vegetables simmering in meat and broth! It almost makes vegetables actually taste good 🙂 Kidding. This was very tasty and delicious comfort food. Of course leftovers were really good, too. I like how America’s Test Kitchen builds the flavors one on top of the other and adds them at the right time so that your potatoes and carrots do not turn to mush from overcooking.
This recipe could be created in the slow cooker if you choose. I find the oven and Dutch Oven are easier for me right now, but feel free to cook it on Low for 7-8 hours or on High for 3-4 hours.
One big deal about this recipe I must add: I do NOT like mushrooms. I cannot stand the texture or taste of mushrooms in any form. BUT, I do like them in this dish. Nobody, not even the kids, noticed that I substituted some mushrooms for beef. The mushrooms really take on a nice beefy flavor.
- 2 lbs. beef stew meat, or beef chuck roast in 1.5" chunks
- salt and epper
- 5 tsp. olive or canola oil
- 1 (6 oz.) medium portobello cap or baby bella mushrooms, cut into ½" pieces
- 2 onions, minced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tb. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 Tb. flour
- 1 Tb. tomato paste
- 1 and ½ cups dry red wine (or beef broth)
- 2 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
- 2 cups beef broth (I use low sodium)
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 oz. (2-3) red potatoes, 1" pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled, halved and 1" thick
- 4 parsnips, peeled, halved and 1" thick (or substitute carrots)
- 1 lb. kale, remove stems and cut ½" thick
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.
- Heat the dutch oven to medium- high with some oil. Brown the stew meat for about 5-10 minutes. You need to do this in batches. Add oil as needed. Set aside.
- Once all the meat is browned (not necessarily cooked through) and removed, add mushrooms. Cover with lid. Turn heat down to medium and cook 5 minutes. Take the lid off and cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Add onions with 1 Tb. oil. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add garlic. Cook 30 seconds.
- Add flour and tomato paste. Cook 1 minute.
- Add wine slowly. Whisk to combine and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven while adding.
- Add broths slowly.
- Put the lid on and the whole thing in the oven for 90 minutes.
- Remove lid and add potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Cook 60 minutes.
- Remove lid and add kale. Cook 10 minutes.
- Remove Dutch oven from the oven and add peas and parsley. Add lid back on for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Healthy Family Cookbook”