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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- Simultaneously, cook your onions & mushrooms on medium-high for about 20 minutes. Then put the cooked onions & mushrooms in a bowl aside.
- Turn the heat up to high & begin to brown your cubed beef in the same pot that you cooked the onions.
- Add 3/4 bottle of wine to the pot once the beef starts to show a little bit of colour.
- Now, add the roast vegetables, onions, mushrooms, seasonings, 2 cups of water, and beef stock cubes! Easy, right?!
- 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.
- After an hour, remove the lid, and simmer for another hour.
- After that, your stew is complete! If you think it needs to be a little thicker, add a tbsp of flour.
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!!