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Comfort Food – Favorite Beef Stew

by on March 31, 2012

I prefer using enameled cast iron for this because it cooks all by itself in the oven in about 2 1/2 hours – 3 hours.  It also works well in a crock pot if all of the browning and prep work can be done ahead and stored in refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.

Ingredients:
1 lb stew beef
3 T olive oil
½ inch thick slice of pancetta, chopped finely (ok to substitute bacon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 T tomato paste
4 carrots peeled and cut in large chunks
5 potatoes scrubbed and cut in quarters
2 C cubed turnip
2 C red wine
2 C beef broth
1/2 tsp. Thyme
1/2 tsp. Sage
1/2 tsp. Marjoram
1 bay leaf

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, brown pancetta in olive oil until crispy.  Remove from pan and reserve.  Brown beef in olive oil and drippings over medium high heat, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Add thyme, sage and marjoram. Add onion, cook and stir until soft. When almost finished, add garlic, stir. Add tomato paste.  Increase heat, add red wine and deglaze pan, scraping bottom to release brown bits.

Add reserved pancetta, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, turnip and bay leaf. If you’re going crock pot, put it in your insert and refrigerate overnight. If not, bring to simmer, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 hours on low until meat and vegetables are tender.

Can be cooked in enameled cast iron in the oven, at 275 for 3 hrs, after bringing to simmer.

If crock pot, take insert out of refrigerator, put it in the heating element in the morning, cover and turn it on low. Eight hours later dinner is served.

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