Beef stew is classic comfort food. It’s a simple dish yet satisfying to the core. This recipe for Balsamic Beef Stew filled the house with a wonderful aroma while it slowly simmered on the stove, and was the perfect meal for a cold Fall day. Husband was almost giddy when he found out what we were having for dinner.
I added 4 oz. of quartered mushrooms along with the potatoes and carrots. Also, I let the stew simmer for a total of about 3 hours to ensure that the meat was fork-tender. The small amount of balsamic vinegar gives the stew a slight tang…boy, was it good! Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!
Balsamic Beef Stew
-Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Simple Suppers, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2007).
From the muscular shoulder section, beef chuck is a tougher cut of meat that is ideal for stewing. It becomes delectably tender with long, slow cooking.
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 large red onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 lb. red or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the beef, seal the bag and shake to coat the beef with the seasoned flour.
In a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches if needed to avoid crowding, remove the beef from the bag, shake off the excess flour and add the meat to the pot in a single layer. Cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate.
Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves, wine and broth.
Return the meat and any juices from the plate to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and braise until the meat is nearly fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots, re-cover and continue to braise until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more.
Season the stew with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Stir in the vinegar, divide among individual shallow bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.