Basic beef stew with potatoes, carrots and peas
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine (pick a full-bodied wine such as
cabernet sauvignon, Cotes du Rhone,
zinfandel, shiraz or Barolo)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 each, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices: carrots,
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Makes 8 servings.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add half of the meat. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with remaining meat, adding additional oil if necessary.
Add onions to Dutch oven; cook, stirring, until almost softened, 4-5 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, until lightly colored, 1-2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits. Add beef broth, bay leaves and thyme; heat mixture to a simmer. Add browned meat and any juices; heat to a simmer. Cover; place in the oven; cook until meat is nearly tender, 2-21/2 hours.
Add carrots and potatoes; return to oven. Cook until vegetables are tender, 30-45 minutes. Stir in frozen peas; cook 5 minutes. Stir in parsley just before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 511 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat, 27 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 625 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.