There is nothing like coming home to a hearty beef stew in the cold Canadian winters. This stew can be made in two stages: Brown and simmer the meat one day; add the vegetables a day or two later.
- 2-1/2 lb (1.1 kg) lean boneless stewing beef, (chuck recommended)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) finely chopped onions
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed thyme
- 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed marjoram
- 4 cups (1 L) lightly salted beef stock, or water
- 8 small potatoes
- 8 onions
- 8 medium carrots
- 1/4 medium rutabaga, (yellow turnip)
- 3 medium parsnips
- 3 canned tomatoes, plus 1/2 cup liquid
- 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
- Cut beef into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) cubes; pat dry with paper towel. In heavy saucepan, heat oil and butter; brown meat one layer at a time. (For a rich tasty stew, it’s important to brown meat well at this stage.)
- When all meat is browned, set aside. Melt more butter in saucepan if necessary and saut?nion until tender and golden. Stir in flour; continue cooking over medium heat until flour is golden.
- Return meat to saucepan; add seasonings (pepper, bay leaf, thyme and marjoram) and stock. Using wooden spoon, scrape up all browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer, partially covered, until beef is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Either cool and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to mellow, or proceed with vegetables.
- Peel potatoes, onions, carrots, rutabaga and parsnips. Leave potatoes whole; cut a shallow X in root end of each onion. Cut carrots, rutabaga and parsnips into finger-length sticks.
- Chop tomatoes coarsely.
- Add vegetables to stew and cook, covered, at moderate simmer until all ingredients are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add peas; simmer 5 more minutes. Taste, adding more seasoning or liquid if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.