Hearty meals are what get me through the long winter, like my old fashioned beef stew with a twist. Plus, I’ve included a bonus arugula salad with vinaigrette recipe for a complete meal.
New England winters are cold, snowy, and harsh! They are also long, often dragging well into the month of April. Personally, I love to embrace the winter weather with some stick old fashioned, stick to your bones, comfort food. This is my remedy for enjoying the winter season, hearty old fashioned beef stew with beets and carrots.
My old fashioned beef stew is a twist on the traditional recipe. I add beets instead of potatoes, and load up on the carrots and spice. Beets are full of nutritional value and add a deep red color to the stew. They are delicious and unique, but if beets aren’t to your liking, you can always substitute potatoes. I suggest you first try this recipe with beets, however.
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Beef tenderloin is so flavorful, and adds a worthy touch to this stew. As an accompaniment to the dish, I toss a beautiful arugula salad with homemade Lemon Vinaigrette dressing (recipe below). Add fresh baked bread and a bottle of rich red wine for an elegant and easy dinner.
I first set my table with an eclectic assortment of dishes and glassware, along with lightly tapered and votive candles. Then I dim the dinning room chandelier and build a roaring fire. Once my guests arrive, I can sit and enjoy their company rather than spending time in the kitchen, because my stew is already complete. My old fashioned beef stew can be made a day ahead of time and gently warmed before serving.
Old Fashioned Beef Stew
- 2 lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Flour (for dredging)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or your sauce of choice)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, peeled and studded with 4 cloves
- 3 red beets, peeled and slice
- 2 cups of baby carrots, sliced
- 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 pound fresh arugula (3 large bunches) for salad
- 1/4 lb hunk of Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dredge meat in flour.
- Melt butter and oil in a large pot. Add beef and cook just to rare. Then remove beef from pot and set aside.
- Cook garlic and onions in pot until translucent, but don’t brown.
- Add wine, beef stock, and tomato sauce to your pot, making sure to scrape up the onion and garlic bits stuck to bottom. Add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour.
- Add beef, onion, beets, carrots, and fennel. Cover and bake in your oven for 1 hour.
- Salt and pepper to taste, removing the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- Top stew with parsley and serve with side of arugula salad.
- To prepare arugula salad, first cut off the arugula stems. Then wash by filling the sink with cold water and tossing the arugula for a few minutes. Spin-dry the leaves and place in a large bowl. Top with enough lemon vinaigrette dressing to moisten arugula. Then use a cheese knife or vegetable peeler to shave the Parmesan into large shards and arrange on the arugula.
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (two lemons)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
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