Monday, January 6, 2014

Hearty Beef Stew

This beef stew is perfect for cold winter nights!  It can be cooked on the stove top by following the recipe, or you can brown the beef and sauté the onions and garlic, than add to a crockpot to cook all day.  If you opt for the crockpot, cook on high about 4 hours, or low about 8 hours.

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound small mushrooms (any type)
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces 
1 cup dry red wine (may substitute no sodium added beef broth)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 (14-ounce) cans no sodium added beef broth
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled white potato
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices carrot 
2 tsp The Delicious Dietitian Southern All Purpose Spice Blend
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Spoon mushrooms into a large bowl. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add onion mixture to mushrooms.
Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned beef to mushroom mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture.
Add 1 cup wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Stir in beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is just tender.

Stir in potato and carrot. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in Southern Spice Blend. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

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