This wonderful beef stew was the product of me having only minutes (before running out the door teach a piano lesson) to get a stew going that my husband would actually like. His memories of stew are in the Dinty Moore category. But I promised him that I would make it yummy, and I did. The result was so much like a beouf bourguignon (we made Julia Child’s last Christmas) that we had to pay homage to it in its name. Unlike what is sadly common with regular ol’ beef stew, there was no slimy, starchy quality to this pot, and being far from bland, it registered to us as savory, full-bodied, and wonderful. Everything goes into the dutch oven (I used my orange Cuisinart), first on the stove to seal the meat, then into the oven for 3 hours.
Because I was being so hasty, I got a pretty terrible picture of the stew, but in real life it was not only in focus, it glistened.
Hasty Woman’s Beef Bourguignon
2 lbs chuck roast, cubed for beef stew
1/4 cup Pamela’s Bread Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup avocado oil + 4 Tablespoons butter
1 very large onion, rough-chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
6 smallish carrots, sliced into rounds
2 Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and rough-chopped
1 bottle red wine (cheap, so you don’t feel bad using the whole bottle)
5 teaspoons Beef Better Than Bouillon
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Heat oven to 300°. Set the dutch oven on the stovetop over high heat, and add the avocado oil and butter. Let this warm while you toss the meat with the flour and the salt. Set the meat cubes into the hot pot, spaced apart for even browning (though I wasn’t too worried about spacing…I was in a great hurry, remember). Let the meat caramelize about 5 minutes, or until the bottoms are crispy golden brown, then flip each piece with a tongs to caramelize the other side. You’re not going for cooked-thru here, just browned on two main sides.
When browned, removed the meat into a bowl temporarily. To the dutch oven, add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sprinkle with salt, and let the moisture from the veg deglaze the pan as you stir. Let the veg sauté in that wonderful meat juice and fat until the onion begins to be translucent, about 5 minutes or so. When it starts to smell really wonderful, add the sweet pototates, give everything a good stir, and cook for another minute. Now you’re ready to add the rest of the goodness.
Return the meat (and resting juices!) to the dutch oven, and add the wine (yes, the whole bottle! Trust me), bouillon, rosemary, onion powder, minced onion, garlic powder and thyme. Put the lid on the dutch oven, and place it in the oven on the middle rack (we don’t have a middle rack <what comes of owning a restaurant range), so I used the bottom rack). Bake for 3 hours. When you pop the lid, the meat should be falling-apart-tender and smell WONDROUS. Stir in the fresh parsley, grab a country loaf and some butter, and maybe an autumnal green salad, and you are ready to feast. Or, ladle it over a baked potato, roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, or cauliflower.