Summer is finally officially over here, and we’re not in the depths of Fall.
I love it.
It actually got a bit cold last weekend. More like November temperature rather than October. Now it’s back to more normal October temperatures for this area; high temperatures in the low to mid 70′s and low temperatures in the low 50′s. Perfect. The air has also gotten a bit drier, so the oppressing humidity of summer is also over (thank God!).
Due to the much cooler temperatures, I’ve been in full Fall foods mode this week. I’ve made stew and fresh bread, pumpkin soup, Japanese croquettes (actually this isn’t really a fall dish, but it is really good), and mushroom cream pasta (fall is mushroom season in Japan, or so I’m told).
I’m planning on making pumpkin pancakes for breakfast tomorrow morning. Ah, pumpkin! I love anything made with pumpkin in the fall. My particular favorite is kabocha, Japanese pumpkin. It’s less watery and naturally very sweet. I love it! I’m a little worried I won’t be able to find kabocha after we go back to the U.S. this December. I don’t really now if it’s readily available in the U.S. or not. If you know of somewhere I can buy it, please comment and let me know!
This stew recipe is really really good. It takes quite awhile to make (about 2 1/2 – 3 hours), but it’s very easy, and so worth it. Most of that time is spent just letting the stew simmer, so you can go off and do other things while it’s cooking (although if you have small children or large dogs, make sure they don’t go near the stove unattended! I worry you know…).
A lot of stew recipes out there involve adding red wine, while others involve adding beer. The thing I love about this recipe is that it involves adding both red wine and beer, and a stew with red wine and beer in it can’t be bad! Although the alcohol cooks off (did I just here some of you sigh dejectedly?), the beer and the wine give the stew great flavor, and it makes the meat soooo tender and wonderful. You won’t be disappointed.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Lightly salt your stew beef and add it to the pot. Let it brown on each side. This is not actually a pound and a half of meat like the recipe calls for. I didn’t have enough meat, so that’s why it looks like less in the picture. Don’t commit this travesty like I did.
Add 6 cups of beef stock, 1 cup of Guinness beer, 1 cup red wine, 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 2 bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover it, and let it simmer for an hour. When you add the beer, it’ll make the stew all foamy like in the picture. I always find this amusing, but then I’m easily amused. :)
While the stock and beef are simmering, heat 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion and saute for about 15 minutes. Then add the green beans and corn and saute for another 5 minutes.
When the beef and stock are done simmering, add all the vegetables, and let it simmer, uncovered, until the veggies are tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Stew goes best with fresh hot bread in my opinion, so I made some homemade whole wheat bread to go with the stew. Heavenly, and perfect for a crisp fall night!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/4 lb. stew beef
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 c. beef stock
- 1 c. Guinness beer
- 1 c. red wine
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 lb. potatoes (2 – 3 large russet potatoes will probably work fine)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 c. carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 c. frozen corn, thawed
- salt and pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Lightly salt beef and add to the pot. Cook without stirring until browned on one side, then turn pieces over. Repeat until all sides are browned.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add stock, beer, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- While the meat and stock are simmering, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions, and carrots. Saute for about 15 minutes, then add the green beans and corn. Continue sauteing for about 5 more minutes. Set aside until beef and stock done simmering.
- Add all vegetables to pot with beef and stock. Summer, uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with fresh hot bread.