Monday, February 20, 2012

One-Pot Beef Stew

I am always a sucker for one-pot meals. Not only because it's a great, filling meal in one pot, but the slow-cooked deliciousness of this meal over a couple hours makes the house smell great, all while you do minimal work to get that oh-so-tender meat! You can serve this amazing meal over rice or egg noodles; we chose to make some hot fluffy white rice out of one of my favorite cookbooks, and it was divine!! Good thing I doubled the recipe for the rice!!

One-Pot Beef Stew
Food to Live By
Myra Goodman

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 4 cups)
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup sour cream

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meat and brown well on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Add the onions to the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pot and bring the stew to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low and let simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 45 minutes longer. Check the stew occasionally and add more water if needed. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to maintain a gentle simmer.
4. Just before serving, add the sour cream and stir to blend. Serve the stew hot. If you are not planning on serving the stew at this time, don't add the sour cream. Let the stew cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the stew overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it over low heat and add the sour cream.

The 2 pounds of meat might sound like a lot, but the whole stew really cooks down so it's not as much as it might sound like. I added at least another cup of water after it had been cooking for awhile, as it doesn't have much liquid, and since it cooks for so long, it cooks down a lot. If you don't like mushrooms, don't add them, but if you do, you will love them in this dish!! We are huge mushroom fans, and they add such great flavor to this meal! I will also include the recipe for the rice that we use all the time!! We did have a rice cooker, but it stopped working correctly, leaving us with hard, crunchy rice or unpredictable rice, so I just started making it on the stove top again. And this recipe never fails!!

Hot Fluffy Rice
The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book

2 cups water
1 cup regular long-grain rice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

In 3-quart saucepan, heat water to boiling over high heat. Stir in rice, butter if using, and salt; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, without stirring or lifting lid, until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Makes about 3 cups or 4 accompaniment servings.

You can use this rice recipe for anything!! It always turns out perfect!!

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