Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Wonderful, Any-Night Supper

Beef Ragout
Beef Ragout

Beef Stews are so comforting, and especially on these cold nights. There are so many possible ways to combine ingredients to make a stew, and this is just one more. I made this last week some time, and am just getting around to posting it. Looking at the recipe makes me want to go back and make it again.I called this Beef Ragout. Ragout is just a spiced stew of meat and vegetables. That description leaves a whole lot of leeway, and would fit most any beef stew. This one is nothing fancy, and just plain good. It has just the right amount of meat and vegetables, and a lovely flavor. It is hearty and warming and all that one wants from a dish such as this. Because the meat is marinated and then cooked in wine, the resultant sauce is very purple. This is perfectly acceptable for a stew made with wine, but to adjust the color, I used Kitchen Bouquet.

Beef Ragout

Beef Ragout
Beef Ragout
1.5 pounds beef stew meat, or chuck, in 1 – 2-inch cubes

1 cup dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 – 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 whole cloves

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet meat coloring
1 large can (13.25 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
½ - 1 cup water or stock

1 cup frozen peas
4 medium-small potatoes, peeled, cooked in salted water

Early in the day or the evening before, combine all the marinade ingredients in a container with a lid or a zip-top bag. Place the meat into the marinade and toss to coat well. If marinating and cooking the same day, the meat can be left on the counter.

Peas added to the cooked stew to heat through

When ready to prepare the stew, remove the meat from the marinade and place on layers of paper toweling to dry. Reserve the marinade. Preheat oven to 300, or whatever temperature will just maintain a simmer.

Have ready a large stew pot or braising pan with tight fitting lid. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the butter and olive oil with the onions. Sauté the onions, stirring until golden but not browned. Remove the onions to the stew pot, reserving any oils in the skillet.

Cooked potatoes added in
Add in half the meat cubes and brown them quickly, raising heat if necessary; remove them to the stew pot when done. Repeat with remaining meat cubes. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and onions and toss until the flour disappears. Add in the reserved marinade, Worcestershire, Kitchen Bouquet, mushrooms and water or stock to just reach about half to 2/3 up the meat. Cover the pot and set the pan in the oven for 2 to 2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.

When the stew is done, remove from oven, add in the peas and cover, allowing the peas to heat through. Add in the cooked, cubed potatoes and stir to combine.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.