Beef + Carrot Stew

The aroma of stew on the stove, mmm. Here we are in mid April and it's been quite chilly in San Francisco, a couple warm days here and there but mostly enough chill to make you appreciate a simmering pot of stew on the stove. I had some beef in the freezer and I think it was waiting for this moment. The moment I realized I need to use the pretty colorful carrots from last weeks farmers market, the ones screaming I'm at the use-or-lose point. And thankful for a somewhat photographic memory, I made my way over to Bea's blog and found her beef and carrots recipe (her photos are memorable!), and unbelievably I actually had all needed ingredients on hand. I liked that it came together fairly quickly, a bit easier than the Beef Spezzatino I made a while back. I think I made this just in time as it's warming up here again! I consider this recipe a keeper, it's very easy to make and really satisfying! Enjoy!

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Beef + Carrot Stew

(adapted from La Tartine Gourmande at Boston Globe)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds boneless stew beef (such as chuck, top or bottom round, shank), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound (about 8) carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups cold water, or more if necessary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, when the oil is hot add the butter to melt, then add the meat to the pan in one layer (working in batches), brown 3-4 minutes and then brown the other side an additional 3-4 minutes and remove the meat from pan into bowl. When all the meat has been browned remove and any remaining meat and juices in bowl, set aside.

In the same pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the onions and 1 sprig of thyme, cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine, let the wine come to a simmer and cook for about a minute. Add the meat and it's juices to the pan. Add the water so that it just covers the meat, add more water if necessary. Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, meat should be tender when done. 

Garnish with fresh thyme.