Beef and Mushroom Stew

It is finally starting to feel like fall here in Connecticut and I couldn’t be more excited!!  Fall and spring are my favorite seasons…. and in the past few years fall has really been gaining an edge over spring!  Yesterday it was chilly enough to wear a cardigan (yay!), and sleep cozily under my comforter!  With fall comes some of my favorite things- Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks, Chrysanthemums, pumpkin carving, Halloween!, scary movies (my favorite kind!), cool sweater weather, and all kinds of soups and stews!  I don’t make soup and stew as often as I’d like for dinners as my boyfriend is not the biggest fan, but I try to sneak them in occasionally.  I do make them often to bring to work for lunch though, so hopefully I’ll be posting some good ones this season!  Recently I was perusing Pioneer Woman’s website and I came upon her recipe for beef and mushroom stew- it seemed to me like a simplified recipe for beef bourguignon focusing just on the beef and mushroom aspect of it, and I just had to try it, so I added it to my menu for last week!  It was definitely a wonderful fall meal!

Beef and Mushroom Stew

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat
4 tbsp flour, divided
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 whole shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, cremini or white button, halved
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 can beef consomme (about 5.25 ounces)
5 ounces water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Pasta or rice for serving, or crusty bread (I used egg noodles)
Directions:
1. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the flour over the meat, and toss to coat.
2. Place a heavy pot (preferably a dutch oven) over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil.  When melted, sear the meat in batches. Turning to brown all sides. Once brown, remove to a plate, and continue browning meat until all is seared.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the wine, consomme and water.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir together.  Bring the stew to a boil, and then add the meat back in.  
4. Reduce the heat to low.  Add the thyme to the stew. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
5. Mix the remaining 2 tbsp flour with a little bit of water, and add to the stew.  Cook the stew another 10 minutes to allow it to thicken a bit.
6. Turn off the heat, and allow the the stew to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
7. While the stew is resting, cook your pasta or rice (if using).
Notes:
  • PW’s recipe calls for beef stew meat which is what I bought for my stew and it was okay, but a little tough.  She actually says that most stew meat is usually sirloin, but mine was not, so I’d suggest seeking out sirloin and cutting it into chunks yourself if your local store doesn’t carry sirloin stew meat.
  • In PW’s recipe she left the mushrooms whole, but I decided to cut them in half so that there would be more mushrooms per bite!  Cremini mushrooms, since they are meatier, would be best for this recipe, but I used white button mushrooms as they were on sale, and they were delicious as well.
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