Beef stew reminds me of being warm and cozy, taken care of and loved. And I'm a sucker for anything with pork and beans (cassoulet, anyone?).
When we came home from the hospital with Ma Fille my mother had made beef stew and buttery, fluffy biscuits. The house was filled with the homey smell of stewed carrots and onions and slow-cooked beef. I will never forget how wonderful it was and how it tasted like love to my shell-shocked body.
When the weather is cold I love to make stew for my family. It isn't a dish you can rush and that's part of the beauty of it. You have to work slowly, trimming the meat and cutting it into bite-sized pieces, drying it with paper towels before browning in several batches and then let it all cook together for hours until you have a pot full of nourishing warmth; love in a bowl.
|no longer a baby, but still likes beef stew|
Boeuf aux Carottes or Beef Stew a la Moi
2 lbs. or 1 kilo beef stew meat
8 medium organic carrots
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 oz. can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450F/230C.
Trim meat into bite-sized pieces and dry with paper towels before browning in olive oil in an ovenproof pot on the stove.
You will need to do this in batches so the meat will brown properly setting browned meat aside in a bowl. When you've browned all the meat, leave it aside while you prepare carrots and onion. Clean and chop carrots into coins and chop onion roughly.
Brown carrots and onion in the same pot as the meat, scraping up any beefy goodness. This will take 4 minutes or so of watchful stirring. Add in the cinnamon and worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine and browning the cinnamon a bit.
Return browned meat to the pan with the carrots and onion and stir to combine. Add in the flour, salt & pepper, stirring well. Place in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 4 minutes. (thanks, Julia) Take it out, stir it again and put it back in the oven for 4 more minutes. This is where the meat gets all crusty and seasoned so I have to insist you do it this way.
Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 325F/165C.
The meat is done when it falls apart when pierced with a fork.
Enjoy the smell of home will it cooks away in the oven. When it's done serve with buttery mashed potatoes, biscuits or baguette and leafy, green salad. Your family will feel all melty and warm inside. And so will you.