Now that we're back in snowy Bozeman, it's time for more soup! Seeing as I got a beautiful pink immersion blender for Christmas, I'm sure you'll be seeing quite a few soups here in the near future. When we landed here yesterday the temperature read 3 degrees Fahrenheit... not exactly balmy. While I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really a winter person at all, there is something enjoyable about coming home from a cold run or ski and having a bowl of warm, hearty stew to warm you up. It never fails!
This stew is easy to throw together, especially if you have leftover rice to use up. I'm sure I've mentioned before that we are not potato people, so most of our soups end up using rice instead.
Chop up a bunch of veggies, throw them together with some spices, and you can't go wrong. I tend to go overboard on the veggies, so use as many as your pot can handle!
Once everything is in the pot, you can let this stew do its thing for a few hours unattended. Make sure to turn the heat down enough, it should be simmering but NOT boiling. This will let the beef soften up and fall apart in your mouth as you eat it. Yum!
Beef Stew with Rice
3 pounds stew beef, cubed to 1" chunks
⅔ cup flour
salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, chopped
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into ½" rounds
4 ribs celery, chopped
⅓ cup tomato paste
½ cup dark beer, such as Guinness
4 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cooked wild rice
1-2 tablespoons sugar
In a paper bag, combine the flour with about 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Add the beef, and shake the (closed) bag to coat the beef. Make sure each side of each piece of beef is lightly covered in flour. Save the extra flour.
In a large (at least 5 qt) heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. In batches, brown the beef in the pot. Make sure to only ever have one layer of beef in the pot at once, and remove pieces as they are browned.
When all the beef is browned and set aside, add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to be translucent. Add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Next, add the beer and scrape everything off of the pan with a wooden spatula.
Add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and beef. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and let the stew cook for at least 2 hours. At the end of two hours, take ½ cup of the broth from the pot and stir in 2 tablespoon of leftover flour until smooth, then return to the pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the rice and cook until it is warm. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar as needed.