Ever notice how beef stew tastes better the second day? Since this improves after a day or two in the fridge it’s a great dish to prepare on a weekend and serve on the weeknights ahead.
A great 5 minute meal when reheated, it takes about 4 hours to cook. Another reason for making it in advance.
French Style Beef Stew (serves 6)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds stew meat, cut into large pieces
- 3 onions, chopped
- 2 pounds carrots, sliced
- 1 ½ cups dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt & pepper to taste
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy pot (one with a lid) on medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown on all sides. You’ll want the pieces of meat to brown with at least a quarter inch of space around each one, meaning that you’ll need to do this in more than one batch. This is important because you want to sear the outside of the meat. If you stuff the beef in or layer it one piece on top of the other, you’ll be steaming the meat and losing a lot of the flavor.
Add the white wine and stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom. Add chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
In a separate skillet heat one tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion and carrot until the onion begins to soften. Add this to stew pot.
Reduce temperature to low, cover the pot and cook for three hours. Stir with a wooden spoon every half hour to make sure nothing’s sticking to the bottom. You may also want to add more chicken stock on occasion if the settled ingredients poke above the stewing liquid.
If you don’t intend to have some right away, let it cool, then freeze or refrigerate.
Alternative: For an American version of the stew, add 6 tomatoes (skinned and diced) or a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes along with the sautéed onion and carrot.