beef stew

it's kinda sorta technically "fall" in the valley. it's september, the pumpkin spice latte is coming out next week...we're close enough to call it autumn. 

in honor of our transition into one of my most favorite seasons: below is my go-to recipe for beef stew. we like this fall-time fave served with a little bit of a twist, instead of chopping the potatoes and letting them cook with the other ingredients, i like to make mashed potatoes and serve the stew ladled over top. something about it is just more appealing than everything cooked together in the crock pot where it all boils down into a big pile of mush mush. (alternatively you can of course, toss the diced potatoes in the crock pot!)

also the cab-based wine sauce for the beef? ah. maz. ing! happy september, everyone!


| ingredients |

4 pounds bottom round, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil (plus more if needed)
2 large onions, diced (2 cups)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine (i loved barefoot's cabernet sauvignon!
1/2 carrots, sliced into coins (about 2 cups)
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)

mashed potatoes
2 lbs russet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
fresh parsely, optional

| method |

coat the beef in the flour, and a dash of salt and pepper. heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. transfer the pieces to the slow cooker.

add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the cooker.

pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the cooker. stir in the potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.

cover and cook on low heat for 7 1/2 hours, or on high for 4 hours. add the peas (if using) and heat through.

30 minutes from serving, whip up the mashed potatoes and serve immediately in a bowl with the warm stew on top.