Well it’s been exactly 11 days…have you stayed true to your New Year’s resolution? If so, hopefully it’s because you chose something that is not impossible – so congratulations and keep going!
My resolution of healthy cooking for my family has proved to be both fun and possible. Our favorite dish this week was Carlyn’s Stew du Jour with Vegetables. This is one of our year round favorites, not only because the title has my name in it, but because much like soup I can make it days ahead, refrigerate or freeze it and the flavors are even better days later. It calls for any type of meat your family’s in the mood for and you can play around with the vegetables if you choose. This stew’s versatility is not only endless but also delicious any time of the year. Of course stew tends to really hit the spot during the winter, so I like to double the batch and freeze one for later use. Plus, I have a delicious gluten-free version of this stew in my new cookbook (set to be released mid April).
What’s on your menu for this weekend and next week? I could use a little inspiration to stay true to my resolution. Cheers!
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 pounds skinless boneless meat or poultry (beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken breast or thigh, turkey breast or thing), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups sliced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups broth (beef for beef, veal, lamb, or pork; chicken for chicken or
- turkey;vegetable for all)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups red-skinned potatoes, cut into ½ - inch cubes
- 1 cup halved baby carrots
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the meat or poultry cubes with the flour, salt, and pepper, and cook in batches in the hot oil, stirring gently until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan. As the meat is browned, transfer to a large tray. Add more oil by the tablespoon to the Dutch oven, if necessary.
Add the onion and garlic to the same Dutch oven and cook, over medium-high heat, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the meat to the pot, stir the tomato paste and bay leaves, and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and wine, decrease the heat and simmer until the meat is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 ½ hours for beef, pork, or veal, 45 minutes for chicken or turkey. Add the potatoes and carrots, and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Serve warm with noodles, rice, or mashed root vegetables.
The stew may be made and refrigerated, up to 4 days ahead of time, or frozen up to 2 weeks. Reheat gently in a 350°F oven, or on the stovetop in a hot water bath or using a heat diffuser.
There are many features I like about this stew. First, I can cook it one or two days ahead and refrigerate it, then reheat it the day I want to serve it, and the flavors are even better. Second, I can use any kind of cubed meat or poultry that I’m in the mood for. Third, I use vegetables that are available year round; and last, it makes a great family dinner or buffet dish.