Vancouver rarely gets really cold. Usually our winters are mild and rainy with a few periods of snow thrown in over the season. This year, however, has been colder than usual...and I'm not complaining because it has also been sunnier than usual...I'll take sunny & cold over mild & rainy anytime!
And let's face it, cold weather is perfect for cooking up soups and stews. Stew is exactly where my mind went to when I was trying to decide on a recipe to create for The Little Potato Company. Have you heard of them? If not, you've probably seen them...they're in lots of grocery stores across Canada...even Costco. They produce over a dozen potato products and take their work very seriously to give their customers the perfect little potato. I also love that they give back to the community by donating over 25,000 pounds of potatoes to food banks every year!
Blushing Belle potatoes. According to The Little Potato Company, they were "...originally bred in Germany by one of the oldest breeding companies in Europe, Blushing Belle is extremely versatile, and adapts well to a variety of cooking methods. Named after its blushing red skin and buttery yellow flesh, Blushing Belle delivers a soft, light texture with mild, delicate flavour. Excellent roasted or mashed."
|Image from The Little Potato Company|
I used them in this recipe because they hold up well under long heat. In other words, they won't turn to mush before they make it to your plate. I also added big pieces of carrot and celery and lots of garlic! Oh and did I mention the wine? Yup, a whole bottle of dry red wine goes into this stew!
Ingredients2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs beef stew meat
3 c dry red wine (1 bottle)
3 cups beef stock
1/3 c flour
1.5 lbs baby red potatoes
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 gloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 c tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- On medium high heat, add vegetable oil to large sautee pan.
- Brown beef by placing pieces of beef in large dutch oven or other bakable pot - don't crowd the meat! Work in batches if necessary.
- Turn beef until all sides are browned.
- Remove beef from pan and place in large mixing bowl.
- If needed, add another tablespoon of oil to pot and add onions, leeks and shallots. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir often so they don't burn.
- Add garlic to onions and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove and place onions/garlic mixture into beef bowl.
- Add tomato paste to pot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will deepen the flavour of the tomato paste.
- Add 1 cup of wine to pan and mix with paste. Stir and get all the bits stuck on the bottom of the pan off of the pan.
- Bring to simmer.
- Add the beef and onions back into the pan.
- In a small bowl stir flour salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and cumin.
- Sprinkle flour mixture over the beef and combine.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, ginger, 2 cups wine, and stock to the pot.
- Bring the pot to a simmer.
- Cover and place pot in oven.
- Cook for 3 hours, until beef is incredibly tender.
- Remove from oven.
- If it is not thick enough, mix cornstarch with cold water in a small dish until cornstarch is dissolved.
- Add to stew and stir in.
- Place back in oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
Note: As with most beef stews, this dish tastes even better the next day!