Oh what a week it's been, my friends. Making moves, trading up, burning fingers, rescuing kittens, tilling community gardens, walking miles upon miles in order to think through projects...
It's been. A. WEEK.
More on that later. For now though, we sit back and relax.
In honor of forgetting to eat upon multiple occasions, eating while walking, sneaking snack bars into the bathroom before leaving for more meetings, eating while talking, throwing handfuls of pistachios into my mouth to squeeze out another hour of energy...
...I thought it fitting that tonight was the night to go all out.
Go big or go home.
So – tonight, let's toast to doing both.
• • •
Red Wine Beef Stew
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 bay leaves
3-4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup of chopped, cooked bacon pieces
1/4 cup white mushrooms
1/4 cup baby carrots, peeled
Grab your crockpot and get 'em cranking on high heat. Coat lightly with Pam nonstick spray. In a large cast-iron skillet melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the meat into a single layer and season with fresh cracked salt and pepper – I like to season mine A LOT since most of it usually slides into the juice. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until golden browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Don't be afraid of it sticking to the pan; trust me, that makes it better.
• • •
In a separate pot, add the chopped onion and garlic, cooking over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add halved potatoes, baby carrots, and mushrooms, give it all a good stir, and add a tablespoon more of butter. Salt and pepper for taste.
• • •
Back to the cast iron skillet. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add 1/2 bottle of wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Turn down the heat and let simmer into a thick gravy. Sensual stuff, right?
• • •
When everything is simmered down (about 5-10 minutes), add your meat to the vegetable mixture, along with 1/4 cup of water. Stir once again, coating everything together.
• • •
Transfer the filled pot of vegetables to the warmed crock pot, mixing and assembling so both meat and vegetables are combined well. Turn heat to low, let simmer for 3-4 hours...or longer, if you're REALLY bold.
Now, sit back and pour yourself a glass of red wine leftover from the recipe. (You saved some, right? Of course you did.)
Turn on Parenthood or whatever your "tune out the world" show of choice is...and relax.