I Like Big Beef and I Cannot Lie!

Being in the middle of spring in New England, there are warm days and cool days.  You have to be flexible by being able to switch from eating a salad one day and a soup or stew the next day.  

One of my favorite things to cook is stew.  It’s one of those easy meals that makes the entire house smell amazing and usually requires minimal chopping.  Another bonus is that stew typically is a one-pot kind of dinner.  My husband loves it since he is in charge of the dishes!  

Thinking of wines that pair well with stew…I just prefer red here.  I know the old saying recommends red wine with red meat and white wine with “white” meats like chicken and pork.  The new recommendation is to just enjoy whatever wine you like with whatever you are eating.  Personally, I just cannot imagine sipping a white wine with beef stew!  When selecting a good wine for stew, think of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or Bordeaux. If you are going to use red wine in the stew, make sure you use one that is suitable for drinking. 

I adapted this particular dish from a recipe I got from Food.com that was originally for Beef Tips.  

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed

2-3 small onions, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup soy sauce or red wine

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 cups water, plus 1 cup water for gravy

Assorted cut veggies like carrots, potatoes, celery, parsnips 

1 packet dry brown gravy mix

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat oil over high heat in large stock pot. Add onions and garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes or until onions are becoming translucent. 

2. Add stew meat and brown on all sides.  

3. Add the 2 cups of water, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce  (or red wine).  Stir.  

4. Add your favorite cut vegetables. My favorites are carrots and potatoes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.  

5.  Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat.  Cook on low for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. 

6.  Mix 1 cup hot water with the dry brown gravy mix.  Whisk together and add to the stew.  Cook an additional 5 minutes or so.  

I tend to go light with the salt and pepper. There is enough sodium in soy sauce and in the brown gravy mix for my taste.  This meal is great with some French bread or any bread you like. My husband likes to use the bread as a food “napkin” to wipe his plate with it to get every last drop of the sauce!  The original recipe recommended serving the beef tips over egg noodles which would be tasty as well. We had brown rice on this particular night so we served it over brown rice. 

If you want to adapt this to make it easier to make during the week, I’m sure you could toss everything in the crockpot and it would be ready by dinner time.  

I will post again soon. Until then, stay hungry and enjoy your wine!

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