Nothing screams home cooked meal than beef stew. Adapted by different cultures, this versatile dish is a staple for entertaining, lazy Sunday dinners and mom’s ever-so-urgent family meeting.
I came up with this French-inspired recipe when I realized I didn’t have the correct ingredients for a Moroccan beef stew.
You will need: Olive oil, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 pounds of cubed beef, 2 carrots, two potatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, half an onion (chopped finely), 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 large tomatoes, 1 table spoon of paprika, 1 cup beef stock, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, salt and pepper, red chilli flakes (optional)
Coat your beef cubes in flour and season with salt and pepper. Why? The flour will give a nice char on the beef, as well as act as a thickening agent when your stew is coming together. Forward thinking eh?
Place beef in VERY hot pot. Do not layer over each other. You’re looking for a nice char on the beef cubes. Do not touch once on the pan. Leave them on until they come off the bottom of the pan on their own. This prevents the beef from releasing its moisture and starting to boil. Turn once and when fully browned, take off heat.
In the same pot, Add your chopped onions, garlic and cubed carrots and potatoes. No beef flavor left unturned. Cook until onions are browned. Then add red wine vinegar and let reduce. Season with salt and pepper.
At this point, master your patience. Add chopped tomatoes and cover pot until tomatoes are softened. Then throw in the rest of your ingredients. In this order if you are feeling adventurous: Paprika and stock. Taste. Season more if desired. Taste. Dijon mustard. Taste. Fix any rough edges with more salt or pepper or dijon mustard. (Or water if you went overboard with the salt). Taste. Add chilli flakes if desired.
Now that your whole pantry is in the pot, reduce heat to medium and just wait. Wait until your flavors are incorporated. Wait until your potatoes are cooked. Wait until you realize you should probably put the rice to cook.
Keep checking on your beef stew. Stirring so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
(I do not have pictures of this part, because one can only take so many pictures of beef stew simmering)
If you’re still awake, serve your beef stew hot, with some rice. Add a salad if you have any more patience left. Enjoy!
Pro tip: This dish takes about One and a half hours start to finish. It is worth it in the end. Because you now have leftovers for millennia to come.
Pro-Pro tip: The flavors in this beef stew are discovered in layers. Not announced. First, you get the beef flavor, then get some tang from the vinegar, and finally a hint of dijon mustard. It’s a majestic experience.