It’s autumn again. The weather gets cooler, the leaves change colors and the sights and sounds around us begin to show a different world.
Growing up, I loved fall because it meant the return of classic seasonal dishes — hearty stews, hot soups, roasts and flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, warm apple cider, and don’t forget the sweet potato pie.
One of my favorite autumn dishes is Classic Beef Stew. This flavorful stew is so easy to make and will warm you up inside and out. They key to a rich flavorful beef stew is not only the meat but also the stock. The stew has to be cooked slowly so that the meat is nice and tender. Vegetables and potatoes have to be added at the right time so that they keep their color and remain firm, not mushy.
Some say the best beef stew comes from a slow cooker. I say if you know how to control the heat you can make a great beef stew in any pot. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can put your pot in a low oven around 175 degrees and let it cook slowly in the oven until your meat is tender and soft. The heat from all side of the oven will keep your pot heated evenly and your stew will turn out great.
Classic Beef Stew
2 lbs cubed stew beef
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups beef stock
1 cup water
Salt & Pepper
1 small bay leaf
4 sweet onions peeled and sliced thin
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
3 cups water
Large Soup Pot or Slow Cooker
Large Sauté Pan
Coat beef cubes with flour
Add water to remaining flour stir and set aside
Heat olive oil in pan
Add onions and sweat until translucent and soft
Add beef cubes and brown on all sides
Add broth water, onions and seasoning
Cover and simmer until meat is tender
Add potatoes cook until fork tender (not soft)
Add remaining water and flour mixture
Stir and allow vegetable to cook
Ladle hot into a large bowl
Jay Jones is the Executive Chef of Chateau Noir, LLC. (www.chateaunoirllc.com)