Some recipes are just pure classic. This is one of them. I came up with this recipe when I first moved to Massachusetts and it carried me through several New England snow storms during my first fall & winter. I’ve posted this before and I’ve made a few adjustments. I just made it again here this past weekend in Las Vegas for the first stew of autumn while watching football for 12 straight hours. If you can call it autumn. It was a brisk 90 degrees! Lots of memories. Lots of flavor. This recipe takes some time, effort and a talented touch, but it’s well worth it.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ pounds beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup flour
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
½ large jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
6 cups dark veal or beef stock
1 cup burgundy or other good quality red wine (I’ve used white wine in a pinch)
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 carrots (unpeeled) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can white shoe peg corn
In a pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Toss the beef with the flour. Once the oil is hot, add the meat and cook until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, celery, jalapeno and 1 tablespoon of garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are wilted and golden, about six minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Remove everything from the pot and place in a large mixing bowl. Add about 1 cup or more of the stock to the pot and bring to a slow boil. De-glaze the pan with the stock, scraping the browned particles away from the bottom of the pot. Get ALL the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. This can be a pain, but that’s where so much of the flavor comes from. Place the meat and vegetables back into the pot.
Add the potatoes, carrots, corn and rest of the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Re-season the stew if necessary.
Depending on how thick you like your stew at this point you might want to thicken it up a bit. I like it very thick. If it isn’t to my liking, and that all depends on how much of the potato has broken down, I’ll add a bit more flour to act as a thickening agent. I’ll usually take ½ a cup of flour and add it to ¾ a cup of burgundy or cold beef stock. Beat it well with a wire whisk till it is completely blended and add it to the stew. Let it cook for a few more minutes and it should thicken up a bit.
Enjoy! Yankees suck!