Deep in the dark corners of my mind….as opposed to the crazy upfront corners of my mind…I long to be someone who could marvel at a simple fruit for dinner. I will never be that kind of person. I need food. Real food. Made with real ingredients, and preferably cooked in wine. Don’t get me wrong, I consider salad to be real food, no problem there. What I am talking about is how some people can get by on eating fruits and nuts for a meal. Now don’t go sending me hate mail on this subject….
So while I was planning my menu for this week and rummaging through my “want to do recipe pile”. I came across a recipe from “Chatelaine” a Canadian magazine my mom likes to give me when she visits. The recipe was lovely and the picture was stunning. But it wasn’t my beef stew….although the idea of the sliced potatoes on top. OH!…what a good topper. Of course I still had to “tweek” that. So, I combined my beef stew with their idea of sliced potatoes…..there’s wine involved…but no fruits or nuts!
6 slices bacon roughly chopped
2 pound stew meat (what ever is your favorite)
2 large carrots roughly cut
1 large onion diced
1 medium size rutabaga (no worries I have pictures if you are not familiar)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 8-ounce container mushrooms cut in half
salt and pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine (whatever you like, I had Pinot Noir)
1 1/2 cup beef broth (preferably organic and low sodium)
3 medium size red potatoes (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds) thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter (optional….but you’ll miss out)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
In a large oven proof pan (I used my 7.5 quart Creuset), cook your bacon on medium high heat until nice and crispy. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels (to remove as much “greasiness” as possible). Working in batches sear your beef on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside. If at any point you feel you have too much bacon fat in your pan simply remove a few tablespoons.
Add your carrots, onions, rutabaga, garlic, and mushrooms. Mix everything well and let this cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add a touch of salt and pepper. Add your fresh thyme and bay leaf. Add your flour and mix well. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Add your wine and beef broth. Bring this to a boil. Add your meat and bacon. Cover and put in your preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.
After the 1 1/2 hours, remove your pan from the oven. Uncover and lay your sliced potatoes (I should point out that you shouldn’t slice your potatoes until you are ready to add them. Otherwise they will be brown and ugly by the time you need to add them) Dot with butter, salt, pepper and return to the oven for 45-55 minutes until potatoes are soft and golden. DO NOT COVER
Serve with fresh bread
Printer Friendly: Beef Stew Topped Off
Peace and Top it off,
Note here is the rutabaga info:
This is a delicious root vegetable. You must remove the outer layer before dicing it. It is also amazingly good boiled and mashed with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper….I never thought I would say that when I was a kid! This vegetable is a very popular French Canadian vegetable….of course as a child I hated it!