Ok, so today’s “soup” is actually a stew. I have a history of sucking at stews. I’m talking a no taste, chew for hours, hurt your jaw kind of terrible. If I tried a shorter cook time for tender beef, I was left with raw veggies. Nothing like biting into a crunchy potato, eh? Yech. I’m pleased to announce that I finally figured it out and it only took me 8 years of cooking for my family. The beef was delicious and easy to chew and there was lots of flavour!
2-3lb cubed beef
2 tsp montreal steak spice
1/4c flour + 1 tbsp for later
3 tbsp oil (coconut or veggie)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup full bodied red wine
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp basil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 large carrots, sliced
1 cup peas
salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. In a plastic bag, combine flour and steak spice. Add beef to bag and shake to coat beef evenly with flour mixture. Add half of the coated beef to the pot, shaking off excess flour. Allow to brown, stirring once or twice to turn beef. (About 5 mins or so) Remove seared beef to a dish and repeat with remaining meat. Remove rest of beef to the bowl and set aside.
2. Once your beef is out, add onions (and a drizzle more oil if needed). Stir occasionally and allow onions to soften. You can season with some salt and pepper at this point. Once onions are browned (about 5 mins), stir in tomato paste and allow the flavour to cook out for about 2 minutes. Look for the tomato paste to darken in colour slightly.
3. Add a tbsp of flour and mix, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pot. Add in your red wine and cook for about 4 minutes, whisking constantly until your mixture thickens.
4. Add meat and any juices back into the pot and give it a stir. Add beef broth and basil. Stir well and turn heat to high, bringing everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low/medium-low and allow everything to simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
5. Add in your chopped celery, carrots and potatoes. Stir and cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow everything to cook until the veggies are tender. (About an hour)
6. Remove lid, add in peas and turn heat down to lowest setting. Add additional salt to taste at this point. Make sure to taste it, as steak spice often contains salt and you don’t want to overdo it. Give it a stir and let it rest with the lid off for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve with cheese and crusty bread, or over your favourite egg noodles. Yum!