The wet El Nino winter the weatherman has been promising us for months is finally here in San Diego! I might be one of the only people here that loves this kind of weather according to my Facebook page of people complaining that their backyards are now lakes and they’ve finally got the pool that they’ve always wanted. The last time we had a crazy El Nino winter was almost 20 years ago and to this day it’s still one of my favorite experiences with weather that I’ve ever had. Something about bundling up and watching the rain pour outside, splashing out of the gutters, flooding the planters and sidewalks, rushing down the embankment is oddly comforting to me. It makes me want to drink hot cocoa, and bake cinnamony things. It makes me want to create simple, rustic meals that warm you up on the inside, like this delicious stew.
You guys! This is a meal that is perfect for any winter day when you want a warm hearty meal, but don’t want to worry about cooking dinner while you’re in the middle of binging Making A Murderer, snuggled under the covers. Life goals, amirite?
This is the kind of meal that you just want to be a bit of effort into in the afternoon and not worry about it until it’s time to slice up some fresh French bread and scoop it into big sourdough bread bowls.
And the best part is it’s so simple. So insanely simple. Nothing but fresh, whole foods in this. And it makes terrific leftovers!
Also, I snapped these photos with my new Canon T5i camera, and I am loving the results! Aren’t you? I still have a bit of work to go, but it’s a learning process.
Anyway, back to the main issue at hand. This is basically the stew version of my rustic pot roast, and it’s so freaking good. If you’ve been looking for a good beef stew, do me a favor and try my recipe, because I think it will instantly become a family favorite.
- 2-3 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 6 medium white rose potatoes, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup of dry red wine
- 1 quart beef broth
- Oil (or bacon grease)
- 1 cup flour
- Salt and pepper
- Start by placing flour, salt and pepper into a bowl. Add beef cubes and toss to coat.
- In a large oven safe pot (cast iron works great), heat oil on medium high heat. In batches, cook beef until browned. Remove from pot and reserve.
- Add more oil to the pot and saute onions, carrots, parsnips and celery until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up any brown bits from the pan.
- Return beef to pot.
- Add potatoes, garlic, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.
- Add beef broth until just covered.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and place in the oven at 300* for at least 2 hours.
- The longer the stew braises in the oven, the more tender the beef will be. (We braised our stew for about 4 hours.)
- Serve with rustic bread.