Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Easy Beef Stew

When it's cold and everyone is fighting off a sore throat, the only thing that anyone really wants is a rich, nourishing soup. This stew or goulash recipe is something I have made several times of times over the past couple of weeks, and it's an easy fix-it-and-forget-it recipe. It's also very filling, so you won't go searching through the cupboard for a snack two hour after dinner (you know who you are!) This beef stew can also be made in the crockpot (combine ingredients, set on low heat and go to work, and come home to a house that smells amazing.) My recipe involved only about 15 minutes of work, and then periodic checking, with a total hour to hour and a half cooking time.

2 pounds boneless flanken, brisket, chuck or any other nicely marbled meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 parsnips, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
5 ribs celery, diced
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 dash cayenne (optional)
2 tsp dried rosemary (or 4 tsp fresh)
2-3 cups vegetable stock

Sweat mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions) in olive oil in a deep pot, approximately 10 minutes.

In a large ziploc bag, incorporate flour and dried spices except for the rosemary, and add the bite-size beef pieces. Shake it all about! Remove the beef pieces, now lightly floured and spiced, and place in the pot with the vegetables. This adds just the right amount of flour to thicken the stew. Add cubed potatoes, parsnips, rosemary and vegetable stock, and cover. Simmer on medium heat for 10-20 minutes, then correct seasonings and reduce to a very low flame and simmer for an additional hour or more, until ready to serve.

This recipe serves four, easily. Add 1/3 to 1/2 pound uncooked meat for each additional adult. It also freezes beautifully.

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