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This hearty Balsamic Beef Stew recipe and photos were shared with my
by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA. The original
recipe was by Anne in Boston and appeared on Gail's Swap.
Beef stew is classic comfort food which is simple, but delicious. The
addition of the balsamic vinegar takes the stew to new delicious taste heights!
Balsamic Beef Stew Recipe:
Soup and Stews,
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hr
2 1/2 pounds good-quality stew beef*
1 cup or more of good-quality
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 cups of homemade
3 cups of red
wine (such as Burgundy, Borolo, etc.)
1/2 cup water
1 pound small red
potatoes (skin unpeeled), cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound small mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons water mixed with 3 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh
salt and freshly-ground
black pepper to taste
* Such as boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized pieces.
** Check out Karen's recipe for easy-to-make homemade
Beef Stock. If you don't have homemade beef
stock, you may substitute a good-quality store-bought broth.
In a large bowl, add the stew
meat cubes and balsamic vinegar. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate
overnight. When ready to use, drain off the balsamic vinegar and discard.
a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add stew meat and brown on all sides. If a lot of liquid
accumulates while browning, drain into a bowl and save for later to add back to the stew.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, and tomato paste and cook until garlic is fragrant.
Add the rosemary leaves, beef stock, wine, and water. Cover with a lid and bring
just to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer approximately 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender but not falling apart.
Check on the meat now and then to make sure liquid does
not evaporate, adding a little water if necessary. You want the resulting juice to be concentrated with flavor.
stews at low temperatures; the surface of the liquid should barely move. When
you simmer very gently, the fat melts out of rich meats and mingles with the
liquid. The dish can then be chilled, and the fat easily skimmed off.
After the stew beef is
cooked, add potatoes, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Bring back to a simmer and cook
approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are cooked. Optional: At
this point, you may add the cornstarch mixture if you want a thicker
stew. Stir mixture into the stew until slightly thickened.
Add fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a good sourdough bread to soak up
some juice and a simple green salad.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.