The weather has been very strange this week, it started to snow! That is not something that often happens her especially at the beginning of November. Even now as I am writing this I can still see white flecks float by my window and on my morning walk to pick up my “only on Saturday” triple shot soy latte it was definitely coming down and starting to stay on the ground. I think it is suppose to get warmer as the week continues but its still crazy to look outside and see snow stuck to my balcony furniture.
As such I definitely was craving some hearty and warm beef stew. I love to make soups and stew at this time of year as do many people around the world. Two of my favourite types of strews are Irish Stew and Beef Bourguignon. As I did not actually want to spend all day making beef bourguignon I decided to combine Irish Stew and Beef Bourguignon into my own style of stew. It also worked to my advantage that my sister had left half a bottle of red wine in my refrigerator whilst she was visiting a few weeks ago and as I don’t drink red wine on its own I used it in my stew.
In my opinion, stew should always consist of meat, potatoes and onions. Whatever else you decide to add only enhances the overall flavours of the dish. I decided to pack this stew with autumnal vegetables like parsnips and mushrooms. I only use one type of mushroom, crimini, but think this stew would be fantastic with a variety of mushrooms such as chanterelles, morel, and shiitake. I do not suggest using truffles as those are expensive and while they are strong tasting they would end up overpowering the entire dish or end up taking in the flavours already present in the stew. Best to leave truffles for pasta.
With very simple seasoning of rosemary, thyme and sage it defiantly conjures up nostalgic feeling of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I also added in some cinnamon which has a earthy slightly spicy flavour that helps deepen in the flavour notes of the herbs and wine. I couldn’t decided if I should add in some chilli flakes to add heat so in the end opted not to add any and have them at hand if I choose to add some to my bowl.
Another ingredient which I normally add to stews is balsamic vinegar but as this has red wine in it I found that it had just enough of a tart flavour that it was not needed. Depending on what wine you use you may want to add in a tbsp of balsamic vinegar if you like. You can of course omit the wine completely and see only water or beef or vegetable stock. Also you could swap out the white potatoes for any type of squash, particularly pumpkin or butter nut squash would work well.
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely diced
- 3 lbs stewing beef
- 6 carrots, coarsely diced
- 4 parsnips, coarsely diced
- 12 medium sized potatoes, coarsely diced
- 24 mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
- 2 cup red wine
- 2 cups water or stock
- 3 Onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ¼ gluten free flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp rosemary
- ½ tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot light brown beef in olive oil before adding in all other ingredients except for flour.
- Stir to combine before adding lid and let simmer on low-medium heat for 2 hours, checking and stirring it occasionally.
- If it appears liquid is evaporating too quickly add another cup of water into pot and turn heat down.
- Once stew has cooked for 1 and a half hours remove a cup of the liquids and whisk together with the flour to make a roux. Try to remove any lumps of flour before pouring back into pot. I use a strainer to ensure that there are no lumps of flour while I pour the roux back in.
- Let cook for another 30 minutes to thicken up.
- Serve while still hot or allow to cool completely before dividing into portions to freeze.
- Will keep in refrigerator for 3 days or in freezer for 3 months.