Beef Stew and Vegetables

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I love beef stew! How can you not? Great comfort food if you ask me. My grandmother (the famous Bumma) puts dumplings in her recipe and I absolutely love it. I believe she makes them with Bisquick actually, which is a neat trick! I had never made beef stew myself, and when I came down with a cold this week, I wanted something warm and hearty to make me feel better. It was also great timing because I happen to receive most of the vegetables I needed right in my CSA this week! I’d also like to note that I bought my meat at Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea Market, which is a really great place for local (and humanely raised) meat products. Always important to believe in the food you’re eating!

Ingredients: (adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
2 lbs stew meat, I bought chuck
4 whole carrots, roughly sliced
4 whole potatoes, quartered
1 whole medium onion (or two small in my case), diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 12oz can beer
4 cups beef stock (or you can use bouillon cubes w/water)
2 tablespoons tomato pasta
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
Parsley for topping (optional)

Start by heating your butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. I got to use my new Dutch oven for the first time which was exciting (thanks Santa!). Brown the meat in two batches and place on a plate off to the side. Make sure not to overcook the meat at this point, otherwise it will get chewy later.

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Dice your onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion to the pot first and cook about two minutes until it starts to become translucent, then throw in the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so. Next, add the beef broth followed by the beer, which will make it get a little foamy on top! Cut the meat into nice bite size chunks and add that as well.

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Next add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika and sugar. Cover and cook for 90mins-2hrs.

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When there was about 15mins left, I washed and roughly chopped my carrots and potatoes. It was nice because I actually had a few orange carrots, some yellow ones, and some parsnips that I used. Plus my potatoes were purple! Quite the tie-dye stew I was making. When the 90 mins were up, I was expecting my stew to have thickened a lot more than it did, but I continued with adding my carrots and potatoes anyway and let it cook for another 30 minutes until the vegetables softened. What I ended up doing to thicken it a tiny bit was mix 2 tablespoons of flour with half a cup of cold water, then adding that to the stew which helped a little bit, especially after it sat a little. Came out really great, and I’ve been eating it all week!

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