A classic recipe for beef and mushroom stew. On the table and flavorful within an hour, better still the next day. This is a great way to make a small amount of beef go further, with the addition of thick slices of firm, almost-meaty mushrooms.
Butchers of the world, listen up, please! Meat is way too confusing!
It’s no wonder we cooks turn to what we know again and again. Think chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, baby back ribs, even hamburger. Now these are easy: they are easily recognized in the meat cooler and we know how to cook them.
But what’s all that other stuff?
I once condensed a primer on pork cuts – and still have no idea what to buy, especially since the names vary. Who would guess that a pork butt is just another Boston shoulder? Have you ever seen a hog with a butt for a shoulder? Not me.
And my eyes glaze over at the thought of cutting up a whole chicken, even though all “real” cooks say it’s easy and economical. The search engine Google cites 14,000 web pages that explain how. Do you suppose that’s more pages than people who actually do it?
But here’s one I’ve figured out – add it to the “easy” list. For pot roast or any stew where the meat cooks a long time, or a shorter time braised in liquid, look for beef labeled “chuck roast”.
Here’s a little memory tip, just think: “Let’s invite Chuck over for Sunday pot roast.”
Got it? Easy, right?! And Chuck will love-love-love the BEEF & MUSHROOM STEW.
BEEF & MUSHROOM STEW
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 7 cups
- 1 pound (450g) beef stew meat (or 1-1/2 pounds chuck roast, see TIP)
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 16 ounces (450g) sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon basil, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 1 cup red wine (or additional broth)
- 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper (especially) to taste
Heat a Dutch oven on medium high. As it heats, cut the meat into one-inch chunks, tossing them into the pot as they're prepped, stir occasionally. Prep the onions and garlic, add them to the pot as they're prepped, stir occasionally.
When meat is partially browned, add mushrooms and stir occasionally until mushrooms begin to soften. Sprinkle with top with flour, then stir in salt, pepper, basil and thyme until evenly distributed. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about three minutes, until mixture thickens slightly. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Let simmer, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until meat is tender. The stew is especially good when made a day ahead of time and rewarmed.
Good Cooks Know That Size Matters.
The meat pieces will shrink so consider that when cutting the meat up since some people (Her?) like small, bite-size pieces for spooning and others (definitely Him) prefer big pieces that need a knife and fork.
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