Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Keep You Warm on a Winter Night

*Note to readers:  I learned this week that the 2 spaces I was taught to put after a period ends a sentence is technically incorrect these days. I guess that's what I get for learning to type before computers were commonplace. So, I'm going to try with all my might to break that nasty habit. If you catch me double spacing, let me know...there might be something in it for you!*

When it gets cold outside we all crave hot comfort foods. It might be the only time I crave stew. I grew up eating stew on a somewhat regular basis because my father's a fan, but I've never been a big stew eater and the recipe I'm about to share with is the first time I've ever cooked stew in my life! Can you believe it?!?!?!  Shocking, I know.

So, as a complete stew newbie, I relied heavily on a recipe, as in - I followed it EXACTLY - and I never do that! But it seemed like the thing to do with something I'd never tried before. So here's the scoop - it was easy peasy!

I started, as I often do, with diced onion in olive oil. This time they were joined by well chopped carrots and garlic. I cooked these for a several minutes before removing them from the pan, and setting aside.

Meanwhile, I'd been trimming and cubing a 2# chuck roast, which I then dusted in flour before sending into a hot dutch oven with olive oil. I browned the beef on all sides (this was done in 2 batches). It took about 5 minutes per batch of beef to get it all browned nicely. Then the beef was removed from the pan as well.

Into that same dutch oven went a cup of vino. This allowed all the beef bits to come off the bottom of the pot and join in the party! That cooked down for about 5 minutes before it was rejoined by the beef, onion, garlic and carrots from earlier. They were joined by diced, peeled plum tomatoes, beef broth, mushrooms, oregano, thyme, and a bay leaf. This was brough to a boil and then simmered at a lower heat for 45 minutes, covered. Then it was uncovered, joined by some sliced carrots and cooked for another hour at which point the basil and parsley were added.

This was a meal that was simple, hearty, all cooked in one pot and made everyone pretty happy! Well, the weeone didn't "love" it, but she ate the meat out! I'd make it again - so one set of thumbs up!

Italian Beef Stew

Cooking Light 

Total: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 7  teaspoons  olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  chopped carrot
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  pounds  boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  cup  dry red wine
  • 3 3/4  cups  chopped seeded peeled plum tomato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3/4  cup  (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh basil
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped parsley


1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and chopped carrot; sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure.
3. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes). Return meat and the onion mixture to pan. Add tomato and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, and stir in sliced carrot. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, and parsley.

Nutritional Information

13g (sat 3.9g,mono 0.8g,poly 6.6g)


Heather aka ADaywithJake said...

No two spaces after the period?! WHAT? I have a degree in ENGLISH for goodness sake! You'd think I'd know these things.

And to that I say- I'll double space as much as I want to double space, because I'm a big girl! :-P

sallyricks said...

I've also recently heard of this rule against double spacing after sentences. I've been trying to quit, but it's a hard addiction to lose. Good luck!

The stew looks amazing and would be exactly what I need on this snowy New England day. I feel warm and cozy just reading this.

AGirlintheSouth said...

Heather and Sally - Apparently we were taught on typewriters to double space because the letters weren't all the same width, but with computer fonts all being "same sized letters" it's not necessary. Someone posted an article about it on facebook this week and now I'm ridiculously paranoid about something that just shouldn't matter at all!!!

The stew is warm and cozy. I didn't mention it in the post, but it was served with a very crusty bread at my house and that made it all the cozier!

Anonymous said...

No,it is three thumbs up! Dad and I loved it. Now the pressure is on for the Super Bowl! It may be junk food.

miss tejota said...

I so want to try and make this.

Dangrdafne said...

Mmmm stew. That looks very yummy and cozy.