Here is the next recipe from our cooking adventure "3 cities + 3 kitchens + 36 meals". We are on our second meal, a comforting and delicious beef stew from the book One Pan, Two Plates. Here is what we had to say about it. Take it away girls!
"In Chicago, I had been recovering from -30 degree wind chill weather so beef stew could not have sounded better. My husband and I took the opportunity to go to Paulina Meat Market to pick up the sirloin meat, along with a couple other savory treats. After living here for almost 7 years, it is shameful that this was my first trip to the famous Chicago butcher shop. By the time I got home a fever was in full swing. It probably would have been prudent of me to take it easy, but once I have made a plan to do something in the kitchen there really is no stopping me. Given my state my husband offered to provide extra assistance, though I suspect he was mostly doing it to be on "knife watch" to make sure I didn’t deliriously slice off any fingertips. He gets full credit for taking care of the most tedious task of peeling pearl onions-delightful things that are totally worth the effort! Despite that one task, this recipe was incredibly easy and quick to make. Not to mention it was perfectly comforting. We paired it with Sonoma Zinfandel (one glass for me in lieu of a Nyquil shot) that we picked up from a new, local wine shop around the corner from us. Despite the bout of illness, this recipe in particular was a joy because I felt inspired to explore new parts of my city as I collected ingredients. We also got to talk to Hannah as she prepared to cook her stew the same night, making it feel like we really were fulfilling the purpose of this endeavor-cooking together, apart." –Lauren
"When I first looked at the recipe, I know this would be quite the undertaking for me. As a 24 year old, I have never touched raw red meat let alone cooked it. So the beef stew would be my first experience cooking meat. Nervously I started to cut up the beef (while face timing my mom for help) and made it through! It turned out great, so comforting and hearty. This beef stew is definitely a repeat recipe, especially in the blustery cold winter months of California." -Hannah
Well it seems the beef stew was a hit, everyone really liked it. The prep was relatively painless, except for Lee (Lauren’s husband, my son) who had the job of peeling the pearl onions. A task that would bring about major amounts of sighing on my part, I'm far too impatient for that task so I used the frozen pearl onions already peeled. I have to say these recipes have been perfect for two (the cookbook is aptly named) so leftovers are few….and since I’m not a big leftover fan it has been a very economical endeavor. I love to hear that the girls were having some time talking together as they were cooking the stew. The "face time" with Hannah as she was preparing the raw meat could have been a comedic skit. Her face was a mix foreboding with a dash of trepidation. I am still smiling thinking about it.-Shannon
Beef Stew in High Heels
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz. sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ cup dry, full-bodied red wine
- 2 new potatoes, scrubbed, quartered, and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leafed parsley
In a large, shallow bowl, stir together the flour, ½ tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat it well on all sides in the seasoned flour.
Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the beef cubes and spread them out in an even layer in the pan. Reserve the flour mixture that remains in the bowl. Let the meat brown on one side without moving it, about 3 minutes. Turn the meat with tongs or a fork to brown on a second side, another 2 minutes. If the bottom of the pan begins to scorch, reduce the heat. Transfer the meat to a plate. The bottom of the pan will be browned with reduced meat juices.
Quickly add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the hot pan along with the carrot, celery, shallot, garlic, onions, thyme, and remaining seasoned flour. Saute the vegetable until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine boils and reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and the browned meat (along with any juices that accumulated on the plate) and bring the stew to a simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and half of the parsley and return the heat to medium-high. Simmer vigorously until the juices reduce and the stew thickens somewhat, about 3 minutes. Taste the stew and add more salt and pepper, if it needs it.
Scoop the stew into warmed shallow bowls, sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve hot.