Happy New Year! I've purchased a domain name and "resolved" to update at least weekly. This recipe is one I've wanted to share for a long time because it is one of our household staples. It counts as comfort food but is reasonably easy on the wallet and the waistline -- great for the first week of January. It's the perfect thing to make on a Sunday afternoon.
Once you chop everything up, it simmers deliciously on the stove for hours, requiring minimal stirring. It freezes well and makes enough to share. It can be served over egg noodles, grits, or rice, or, since it uses turnips and carrots instead of potatoes, it doesn't feel redundant over mashed potatoes (our favorite). As an added bonus, everyone in my family devours it and goes for seconds.
The original recipe is from Pioneer Woman. I've changed the proportions to better suit our family, and made it a little thicker.
Sunday Stew3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter (salted and unsalted both work)
2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat (I buy chuck roast and cut it up), salted and peppered
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon or 3 cloves minced garlic
6 oz (1 small can) tomato paste
6 cups (32 oz) beef stock (I use Kitchen Basics Unsalted)
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
5 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2 large turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces *
1 Tbs softened butter combined with 1-2 Tbs flour to make a thick paste **
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the olive oil and the butter to a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Turn the heat on high. When the butter foams, add the half meat in a single layer. Don't overcrowd the meat, or it won't brown as well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until brown. Turn once and cook for another minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and cook the other half of the meat. Remove to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onions, stirring well and scraping up any delicious browned bits. Cook until slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring well. Add the beef stock in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the beef back to the pot, and cover. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After approximately 2 hours, add the carrots and turnips and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine softened butter and flour with a fork. Whisk, in pieces, into the stew. Cook for an additional 5 minutes to thicken.
Serve over mashed potatoes (or grits, noodles, or rice). And for dessert... as for me, I'll be trying to help my family's resolutions along by removing the temptation of the Christmas chocolate.
* Promise me you'll try the turnips. I never had one until I was over 30. Along with Brussels sprouts, turnips are one of those things my mother never cooked (she's more of an asparagus/ zucchini person).
But when Pioneer Woman went on and on about the turnip-y turnips, I felt that I would be doing the stew a disservice if I didn't give them a try.
Plus, William randomly loves turnips. (You can blame the Box Car children books). The best bit? Serving this to my mom and asking her to guess the vegetable. She loved it, but the closest she could come was "white squash?"
** This is called a beurre manie. It's one of my favorite techniques for thickening something at the end of the cooking process. You can soften the butter in the microwave, but I tend to melt it, which doesn't work. So instead, I put the tablespoon of butter in a small bowl on the counter at the beginning of making the stew. After 2 hours, it is soft enough to mash with a fork.
Pioneer Woman doesn't thicken hers at all, so you can skip this step. Or, you can make a slurry out of one tablespoon corn starch and one tablespoon cold water, and add that to the pot to thicken it. However, to me, the beurre manie adds the most flavor.