The CHEAPEST Ingredients for the TASTIEST Meal!

As a Canadian, I know far too well the pains of late October / early November. The weather begins to cool down, your outside breath is visible, and all you want is a comforting meal. Well you’re in luck! I want to share my go-to meal for a chilly day: Beef Stew!

Truthfully, there isn’t a way to make beef stew sexy or appealing. I get it. It’s a lumpy brown stew. Not very Instagram-friendly. I GET IT. But hear me out: my beef stew recipe is exactly what you need on a cold winter evening.

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STEP ONE: Find a CHEAP bottle of red wine. When I say cheap, I mean cheap. Think of it like a fun, little mission to the liquor store to find the least expensive wine. I found an $8 bottle of a Merlot-Malbec blend. Since we’re going to be cooking our stew with lots of red wine, the actual flavour of the wine will blend with the beef & vegetables – so don’t be picky with the wine itself.

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STEP TWO: Pour yourself a glass of wine. It’s going to be 2 long hours of simmering the stew, so get drinking!!

STEP THREE: Actually cook the stew. Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 2-3 lbs of beef (try to get pot roast or stew beef… that, or any super cheap cut), cubed
  • 5 sweet carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of butternut squash (or potatoes!), cubed
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of mushrooms
  • 3/4 bottle of red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 beef stock cubes

Start by setting up your ingredients before they blend together in the pot. Try this order:

  1. Heat up your oven to 450 F, and roast your carrots & butternut squash for 15-20 minutes. This will help char the vegetables & get some flavours going.
  2. Simultaneously, cook your onions & mushrooms on medium-high for about 20 minutes. Then put the cooked onions & mushrooms in a bowl aside.
  3. Turn the heat up to high & begin to brown your cubed beef in the same pot that you cooked the onions.
  4. Add 3/4 bottle of wine to the pot once the beef starts to show a little bit of colour.
  5. Now, add the roast vegetables, onions, mushrooms, seasonings, 2 cups of water, and beef stock cubes! Easy, right?!
  6. Give your pot a quick stir. Wait until it reaches a boil. Once it has, bring it down to a simmer & cover the pot. Wait ONE HOUR.
  7. After an hour, remove the lid, and simmer for another hour.
  8. After that, your stew is complete! If you think it needs to be a little thicker, add a tbsp of flour.

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There you have it! Although it takes 2 hours to fully cook, the majority of the cooking process is a simple simmer. So it really only requires about 30 minutes of work. Try this recipe out next time the weather drops, I promise it’ll pick your mood back up!!

Happy eating!

-MR

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