beef stew, and I used to make a beef noodle soup all the time. Lately, beef hasn't been on the menu very often. Yet, beef stew served on a bed of mashed potatoes seems just about perfect for this time of year. The nice thing about this beef stew is that it is great on mashed potatoes, but you can also serve the leftovers over egg noodles or rice. I like meals like this that you can change up a little bit from one night to the next. Now that we have "discovered" this recipe, I hope it will make a more regular appearance on our winter table. I made quite a few changes to the original recipe, primarily making it a more veggie heavy stew. I used about half the beef and substituted mushrooms for the black olives originally called for. Also, I had some beef stock left over from an appetizer I had made for a party the night before. Feel free to use water if you don't have any beef stock laying around. Also, the original recipe never said to remove the orange wedges. I'm not sure if we were supposed to eat them with the stew. They were pretty soft by the end, but I chose to remove them from the stew. Anyone with more experience with this recipe know if I was supposed to eat them?
adapted from Home Made Winter by Yvette Van Boven
1 1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (750-ml) bottle Cote du Rhone, or other similar red wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 carrots, cut into chunks
8-10 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 orange, washed and cut into 8 wedges
1 large onion, peeled, cut in half, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 6-oz can tomato paste
Place meat in a big bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, mushrooms, orange, onion, and garlic. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Remove the meat from the marinade and brown in the stockpot, in two batches if necessary. You want enough room for the meat to brown evenly on all sides. Remove meat from the pot and set aside. Pour the entire contents of the marinade into the pot, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a simmer. Add beef broth, water, and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate the tomato paste. Return the beef to the pot. Cover, and let cook on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and let cook for approximately one more hour, or until broth thickens. If sauce is still too thin after 1 hour, bring heat back to med-high and cook until desired consistency is achieved. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Remove oranges, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs before serving. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.