11 hours ago
Monday, January 11, 2016
Though I don't eat much red meat, I love me a good beef stew in the winter.
My Belgian Beef Carbonnade is my go to for company, but this was a close second.
This recipe won the Food52 Best Beef Stew Recipe Contest, and I can see why.
It uses a "secret ingredient" that makes it different from the rest.
Ok, so the secret is out. The secret ingredient are anchovies.
2 little fishies make this dish sing louder than your average boeuf stew.
I know some of you hate anchovies (Marie!). Stop it.
They are an umami thing here, adding flavor, breaking up in the sauce, you don't bite into hairy things, you don't even know they are there.
The only reason I am telling you is because I read the comments on the Food52 website and a few people had to use an epi pen after eating this, because they were allergic to fish.....and their hostess didn't tell them that there were anchovies (which are fish) in the dish....hence the allergic reactions.
So I'm telling you now, there are 2 anchovies in this recipe.
It's always a good idea to TELL YOUR HOSTESS that you are allergic to fish, or kiwi or peanuts. When I make a dinner reservation on the telephone now, the person on the other end asks "are you celebrating anything special? Do you have any allergies that the chef should know about?". They are also asking at the table when you order. Not a bad idea.
Don't want to be surprised later.
I have no allergies btw, just allergic to creepy people.
I am getting off track here. Let's get back to stewing.
So the recipe calls for 5+ lbs of chuck meat, that's a lotta stew.
I cut the recipe in half to serve 4-6, instead of an army.
The only thing I changed was adding peas at the end, because I needed something green and cute, and I changed the red wine vinegar to cider vinegar, which I like better in stews.
Served over paccheri, a wide macaroni noodle, and loved it.
I will post the recipe the way I made it, if you want the original recipe with the full regalia, then click on the link.
Food52's Winner for Best Beef Stew: (adapted from Food52)
2 1/2-3 pounds beef stewing meat, chuck steak, cut into 2" pieces
kosher salt & pepper
2 leeks, washed well and cut thinly
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 cup white mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 anchovies, chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup red wine (I used a Cote du Rhone)
2 cups beef broth
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
handful of chopped parsley
1/2 cup defrosted frozen peas
Season the beef with kosher salt and pepper on both sides. Brown the meat in batches in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven over high heat (I use a Le Creuset), about 7 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Remove to a plate.
Lower the heat and add all the vegetables. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and anchovies and cook to melt the anchovies and distribute.
Add the beef back in, with its juices. Add the wine, vinegar, and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil.
Add the stock to cover (you may need a bit more liquid, then add in some more wine or water). Season with a pinch or two of salt, bay leaf, thyme, bring to a boil.
Simmer, partially covered, for 2.5-3 hours until the meat is tender. Add in the peas at the last minute and stir.
Let the stew rest at least an hour.....it gets better with age.
Better tomorrow and even the day after.
Really delicious over polenta, pasta, mashed potatoes or just plain!