Happy Hop Day!  This Wednesday I decided to share with you the chronicles of Izzy the Rabbit and the Washing Machine.  This rabbit is obsessed with trying to go behind the washer, and I just can’t understand why.  All that’s back there is dust, lint and an ant trap–not really what I’d consider bunny heaven.  Yet, every day without fail, I’ll realize I have no idea where she is, and find her sheepishly running out of the laundry room when I call her name.  So one day I followed her and watched…with my iPhone handy.

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The process in action


Rabbit brains…seriously so strange.  Almost as strange as me posting about beef stew in May.  Well, hear me out people.  At work, some teachers complained about the faculty room being too hot, and now, the A/C is on all the time.  Like, all the time, full blast.  Not only is it ridiculously wasteful, it always creates a very sad working environment.  Multiple people have brought blankets in, it’s bad.

As a result, I’ve been craving warm foods at home. Even if I’m warm enough to not actually need them by the time I get there.

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I’ve always wanted to make my own beef stew, it seems so homey and stick-to-your-ribs good, so when I saw a post on The Kitchn about how to make homemade beef stew, I knew that the time had come.

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I was really pleased with the way the stew turned out, except for one aspect.  The stew meat I used was more heavily marbled than I would have liked, so the stew came out a little greasier than what I might have liked, though I still ate and enjoyed it.  Make sure your beef is marbled to your liking, because the slow cooking method used in the recipe (which is awesome and makes the beef fall-apart tender and amazing) will also leach all the fat into the broth.

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So after some chill time and some serious sieve work on my part, this stew was fantastic.  I definitely think it’s going to work its way into my winter meal rotation next year.

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge!

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 This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Sonya at And More Food.

One Year Ago: Applesauce Pancakes

Hearty Beef Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 pounds stew meat (chuck roast)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound cooking potatoes (I used red bliss), cubed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Trim your stew meat into small cubes, about 1-2” thick and long. Be sure to cut away any unwanted fat. Set a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, work in batches to sear the beef on all sides. Add a single layer of beef cubes to the pan, sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Let the beef cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes, until the undersides develop a dark brown crust and come away easily from the pan. Toss and continue searing on all sides, another 4-5 minutes. Transfer the seared meat to a clean plate and continue searing the remaining meat. Add a few drops of extra oil between batches if the pan looks dry (mine was never dry). Transfer cooked meat to the plate containing the rest of the meat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and warm about a tsp of olive oil. Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook until the onions are softened and translucent and the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and one Tbsp of the Worcestershire sauce, and stir to coat.
  3. Next, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir until the flour is no longer visible and the veggies look slightly mushy from the flour coating. Raise the heat back up to medium-high and pour in the wine. It will bubble and steam, but don’t worry. Using a plastic scraper or spatula (so you don’t hurt your pot if it’s not nonstick) scrape the sticky fond from the bottom of the pan, letting the wine will help it dissolve. Continue scraping and stirring until the wine has reduced and thicken slightly, about 3-5 mins.
  4. Return the meat to the pan and add the broth. Add in the thyme and bay leaf and stir to combine. Bring the stew to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Make sure the stew stays at a very low simmer, you don’t want it to be bubbling to much.
  5. Add the potatoes and carrots to the stew. Cover the pot again and continue cooking for another 45-60 minutes. When done, the meat should be tender enough to flake apart with a fork and the potatoes should be pierced easily with a fork. If not, re-cover and cook in additional 15 minute increments until cooked.
  6. Stir the frozen peas into the stew. Add the remaining tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of red wine. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and add extra salt, pepper, or other seasonings if necessary. The stew can be served right away, refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for up to three months.
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Adapted from The Kitchn

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