Nothing says autumn like beef stew. When you close your eyes and picture it I’m sure you think, “yeah right that’s low fat”. Trust me!
Serves 4 to 6
1 package of stewing beef (around 450 g)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped or sliced
1 227 g package of cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small carrot, sliced
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 can of tomato paste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
– Trim any excess fat off of the beef cubes.
– Using a clean plastic bag; add the flour and season the flour with salt and pepper (about 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper). Mix well (just tie the bag and shake it, you can tell it’s mixed by looking at the pepper.
– When the flour mixture is seasoned add the beef cubes and coat the beef well with the flour; again just hold the bag closed and shake it.
– Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
– When the oil is hot (you’ll see it ripple or bubble) add the beef in an even layer, shaking off any excess flour before it goes in the oil. The idea is to brown the beef and get a yummy crust on it but not cook it through. Turn over after about 4 minutes. If the flour is darkening too quickly drop the heat to medium.
– When the meat is browned remove the beef and set aside.
– Add the remaining tbsp of olive oil and when it is hot add the mushrooms, onions and thyme sprigs. Sautee for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are brown (it’s okay to do this on medium heat if the flour is burning at the bottom of the pot, may cause a smoke show but it will add good flavour). Season with salt and pepper when the veggies are cooked.
– Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, careful not to burn the garlic.
– Add 1/2 cup of the red wine to the pot and turn the heat up to high. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any of the food stuck to the bottom of the pot (deglazing).
– Add the remaining wine and the stock and stir in the tomato paste; bring to a boil and then drop the heat to medium-low.
– Return the beef and any juices to the pot.
– Add the carrots and vinegar.
– Season with salt and pepper.
– Cover and let simmer for about two hours; if the liquid bubbling too much you can drop the heat to low. The idea is to let the meat cook slowly in the sauce.
– Serve with any potato side you like, I usually just boil potatoes (remember to leave the skin on; fibre!).
1. You can use white wine in place of red if that is what you have on hand.
2. You can use stock in place of wine.
3. If using water only also add a couple of bay leaves for flavour.
4. The vinegar sounds weird but trust me its awesome (it’s my mother’s trick).
5. If you prefer you can use a steak in place of stewing beef.