Jennifer's Beef Stew
When we were kids my least favorite meal (besides liver) was beef stew. I hated it and Teresa liked it. On a recent trip back to Long Island, my daughter Jennifer made a batch of beef stew which I tasted just to be polite. I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many wonderful flavors that I ate the whole bowl! Her secret was the beef bone broth, Isabella wine & thyme. I have used beef bone broth in the past; however, none compare as well to the Epic brand made from grass-fed beef. Serve with buttered Italian bread, over creamy mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles. You won't need a knife to cut your meat, it's extremely tender, juicy, and delicious!
- 2 lbs. beef stew meat (or beef chuck cut into 1-inch squares)
- 2 Tablespoons bacon grease (from 6 strips cooked bacon)
- 2 lbs. mushrooms, thickly sliced in half or thirds
- 2½ tsp sea salt or to taste (divide into 1 tsp and 1½ tsp)
- 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (divide into 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if gluten is an issue)
- 1 cup red wine (Jennifer uses Isabella by Pindar, however, any Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano or Sangiovese will work)
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 6 carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 5-6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bottles (28 ounces) Epic Beef Bone Broth Jalapeno & Sea Salt
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 4 russet potatoes, quartered then cut into small bite size pieces
- 1½ tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 tsp parsley (dried or frozen cubes)
- 1 bag frozen peas, thawed (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour to thicken gravy
- Pre-heat oven to 325ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1½ tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp black pepper. Mix together then add the stew meat a little at a time to coat all sides well.
- In a large dutch oven, heat bacon grease over medium heat until hot. Transfer meat in 2-3 batches, into the hot bacon fat. Cook 3 minutes on each side until browned. Add EVOO if needed. Set meat aside in a bowl.
- Pour 1 cup red wine into the dutch oven to deglaze and bring to a boil, scraping bottom well to get all the meat bits mixed in.
- Add the mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a separate large skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 Tablespoons EVOO. Add carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Sauté approximately 4 minutes.
- Add 1 Tablespoon flour and mix constantly for 1-2 minutes. (If a thicker gravy is Preferred, add 2 Tablespoons flour instead of 1.)
- Add 2 Tablespoons tomato paste.
- Sauté 1-2 minutes longer.
- Transfer the vegetables to the dutch oven. Add the 2 bottles of beef bone broth, 2 bay leaves, dried thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Return the beef (and bacon if you cooked bacon), to the pot and stir to combine.
- Cover dutch oven with lid and bake in a 325ºF oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Add thawed peas and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
Notes: I always have bacon fat on hand in the refrigerator. Once I cook the bacon I drain the fat into a small pyrex dish then store covered in the refrigerator.
Beef broth may be substituted for Beef bone broth.