Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beef Stew With Cranberries






My favorite beef stew recipe is my "5-hour stew" recipe that I got from an older lady I use to work with years and years ago. I will post that later in the season. But when I saw this recipe in Southern Living Magazine (I modified it) last month, I had to give it a whirl.  Cranberries and Beef together?  You can't go wrong. 

Plus I'm a firm believer that everyone should have more than one beef stew recipe with different flavors and styles.  After all, we have a long cold winter ahead of us, so we need all the help we can get for comfort food recipes.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that I now have 4 bags of fresh cranberries in my fridge because I plan on passing out that Cranberry Bread I posted last week to some relatives this week at a family birthday party.

BEEF STEW WITH CRANBERRIES

2 lbs. beef stew meat (Marinated as mentioned below in McCormick's Montreal Seasoning and Worcestershire Sauce)
1 c. flour
2 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. red wine (I use Pinot Noir)
48 ounces beef broth (I could not find a 48 ounce container so I had to use the 32 ounce container Beef Broth PLUS a14 ounce can beef broth)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 baby carrots, cut in half
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in chunks
4 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped in chunks (no need to peel)
1 1/2 c. frozen whole green beans
Good bread for sopping up all the goodness


Before I make any kind of beef stew, I always marinate the stew meat.  I have made and have eaten beef stew, where the meat was like rubber.  This is just a simple little prequel to make sure your beef is "cut with a fork" tender.  It's your choice but it doesn't take much time, and  it's well worth it.  Several hours, or the day before, put your stew meat in a container that has a lid.  Sprinkle McCormick's Montreal Seasoning mix all over it. Then sprinkle your meat with Worcestershire sauce. Don't be afraid, toss your meat all round, and shake the sauce so that every little piece gets some on it.  Cover and let marinate in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight is best.

Fast forward.  Now we are ready to make our stew.

Take a large storage baggie and put in a cup of flour.  Take your meat, shake off any excess Worcestershire and toss the stew meat in the flour so it will gently coat each piece.

In large Dutch oven, melt 1/2 stick of butter oh medium high heat.  Once the butter is melted and the pan nice and hot, toss in the stew meat.  Sear meat gently on all sides.  Toss in the onion and garlic.  Continue to cook until onion is almost cooked through.

Add red wine, beef broth,water, thyme, can of diced tomatoes and fresh cranberries.  Bring to a boil. 

Stir in carrots, Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans.  Cover and set to low.  Let simmer for 2 hours. 

Now is the time to do a taste test.  Give your meat a little sample taste to see if it's tender.  2 hours should be enough time, but it depends on how low you have had your stove turned on.  If it's just not quite tender enough, let it cook another 20 minutes or so.

The broth is really yummy since it has the red wine, beef broth and cranberries, so you want to be sure to have some good bread to dunk into and sop up all the goodness that's left in the bowl.


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