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Beef Stew

Always the harbinger of cold weather; as soon as I crave this and add it to my cooking roster I know that winter temperatures and root vegetable season have arrived.

Feel free to substitute your favorite root vegetables for the ones I used. I made garlic mashed potatoes to go with this but feel free to add potatoes to the stew if you want to go one-pot-dinner mode instead. That being said, this MUST be served with horseradish on the side.

I made this for a dinner party and had leftovers for lunch -- this makes six portions, four if you are greedy.

1 1/2 lbs cubed beef stew meat

2 carrots, peeled and ends removed, cut into coins

2 large turnips, peeled and ends removed, cut into eight pieces

2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into eight pieces

1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into eight pieces

1 cup hearty red wine

1 cup beef stock (or water)

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

generous pinch of cinnamon

2 tsps olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300.

Heat the oil in a large oven-safe stock pot over medium-high heat. As soon as it shimmers add the beef to the pan in batches -- you want to brown the meat on all sides so don't over crowd the pan at this point of the beef will steam. Salt and pepper each batch well on each side and remove each batch to a plate and set aside before adding the next batch of raw meat to the pan. Also, you may want to lower the heat part way through the first batch as the meat may start to brown too quickly. Take your time with this step -- about five minutes per batch of meat -- as getting the meat caramelized on the outside will make a big impact on flavor.

Once the last batch of meat is browned, add all the meat and vegetables to the pan along with the herbs. Stir to combine and pour over the wine and stock.

Cover and place in the oven for two hours. Stir well and cook for an additional hour.

Your house will smell amazing and the slow cooking will break down the meat so that it is incredibly tender and the vegetables are confited. Yum.

Under thirty minutes to make (plus three hours of hands-off cooking time.)


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