Springtime beef stew

Loaded with beef, potatoes, and lots of blanched vegetables, this dish celebrates spring. It’s warm and hearty, yet fresh and bright. This down-to-earth dinner gives you everything you want in a stew in one bowl.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds veal or beef, cut in 2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium new onions diced finely
  • 1 medium carrot cut in very small cubes
  • 1 celery stalk cut in small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley with stalk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 cups beef stock hot
  • 15 ounces baby carrots or young carrots cut in half then 2 lengthwise
  • 10 small pearl onions peeled and left whole
  • 15 ounces peas
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut in medium size pieces
  • 2 medium leeks, just the white part, sliced medium thin
  • 6 to 8 medium Russet potatoes peeled and cut in medium size cubes
  • 3 teaspoons chilli sauce
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Season the meat with salt and 1 teaspoon of chilli sauce and set aside.
  2. Prepare all your vegetables in different bowls and set aside. There are vegetables diced very small for the brunoise to cook with the meat and you have another list of spring vegetables cut in medium sized cubes that are added after the meat is cooked so keep them separated. Add cold water to the potatoes so they don’t turn black.
  3. In a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid (type dutch oven), melt the olive oil and butter with the bay leaf.
  4. Add the minced onions, the bay leaves, carrots, garlic, parsley with the stalks and celery to the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring until the onion is translucent.
  5. Add the meat and brown on all sides.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stir well with a wooden spatula to dislodge any pieces stuck to the pan and let the wine reduce completely, meaning, there won’t be any wine left in the pan.
  7. Add the hot stock to 2/3 of the height of the meat, season “lightly” with salt and the remaining chilli sauce.
  8. Cook with lid on for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours over minimum heat or until the meat is very tender, stirring from time to time and adding more warm stock if needed but never over 2/3 of the height of the meat.
  9. Add the turnips, baby carrots, leeks, pearl onions and potatoes and stir. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes with lid on, adding more vegetable stock if needed but keep it quite restricted. You want the sauce now to thicken with the starch of the potatoes.
  10. At the last minute add the peas and cook another 3 or 4 minutes without the lid, until the potatoes are completely done.
  11. Discard the bay leaves and the parsley, check the seasoning and serve immediately.

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