Driving to an early morning meeting this morning, I glanced at the temperature Gage in my car and it said it was 17 degrees outside! Now, I know that is no big deal for folks in Alaska or the Midwest or the East Coast...but that's darn cold for us out here in the West. When the temperatures start to drop in the winter, my thoughts turn to comfort food like hearty soups.
My husband has been building in the Leavenworth area for the past few months. He leaves Sunday afternoon and returns home Friday evening so he's pretty much on his own for cooking his own meals during the week. I try to send him off with a few easy options to heat up, but he is especially happy if I take the time to make him a pot of soup to take with him. Soup is the best meal, isn't it? You can eat it for lunch or dinner and get your protein and veggies all in one scoop!
As I mentioned in my last post, I subscribe to Life: Beautiful magazine. In the Winter 2016/17 edition that just came out, there are ten soup recipes to try...and they all sound good to me! So, I thought I would try to make one a week, give you my impression, and share the recipe with you! (This is my rather pathetic attempt to be like Julie in the Julie and Julia movie, where blogger Julie Powell endeavored to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook in 365 days...uh yea!). I asked my husband to look over pictures of the soups in the magazine last Sunday and pick one so he could take with him. Predictably, being a meat and potatoes kind of guy, he picked the Steak and Potato Stew.
Fortunately for me, Safeway is just right up the road so I cruised up there, bought the ingredients and got to work making the stew. The preparation instructions are similar to my own Beef Stew recipe. And yes, I know I said in the that blog post that it was the best...but I'm willing to give a new recipe a chance to win me over!
I followed the recipe pretty much to a T (where did that saying come from anyway?!), except that I used dried thyme instead of fresh sprigs, and I used Trader Joe's frozen garlic cubes instead of fresh cloves of garlic...mainly for expediency. I also added a generous tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Beef base...love that stuff! There is quite a bit of chopping involved with the veggies, so the whole process prep/cooking time was close to two hours. Just thought you should know that :). Here comes the recipe:
Steak and Potato Stew by Life: Beautiful magazine
- lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 in chunks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 12 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, porcini, oyster, shiitake or chanterelle, chopped
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped green beans
- salt and pepper, to taste
Season beef with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In a large pot, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add beef, half at a time, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil and chopped onion to the pot. Cook covered, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, cook for 1 minute or until mixture darkens. Add flour; cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add wine, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from bottom of the pot. Add broth, beef and it's juices, pearl onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until meat is tender.
Stir in potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and green beans. Simmer for 15 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Makes 10 servings, 281 calories per serving.
Now for my review! The stew was very tasty, but I have to admit I missed the added flavor provided by the beer/ale that is used in my recipe for Beef Stew. There are a couple more vegetables called for in the Steak and Potato Stew recipe, so perhaps it is healthier...but also a tad more expensive to make. Definitely worth a try if you love a hearty beef stew for a comfort meal! Bon appetit!
Stay warm everyone! I finally got every last thing, including the wrapping paper and ribbon, put back up in my storage eave so I'm feeling good about that! The house feels bare...but I'm kind of liking the uncluttered look. Have wonderful weekend! Warmly, Gracia