Gourmet Beef Stew Recipe

This full bodied beef stew is one of our favorite winter meals. I make mine in my slow cooker, but you could easily cook this in your oven at about 300 degrees for several hours. Don't leave out the fresh herbs as they are a wonderful addition. As with lots of slow cooked meals this recipe is just as good if not more flavorful when served the next day. The Creole Spice Blend used in this stew lends full flavor to this hearty dish . On occasion I have substituted venison for the beef with excellent results. Serve this with a crusty roll or baguette and maybe a glass of dry red wine! This recipe was inspired by some excerpts from "New Orleans Cooking" by Emeril Lagasse.


3 tbl olive oil
2 lb. stewing meat
1/4 cup flour
3-4 tbl Creole Seasoning, recipe here
2 cups onion chopped
1 cup celery  chopped
1 cup carrots  chopped
1 tbl  garlic chopped
1 cup tomatoes peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tbl  fresh basil chopped
1 tbl fresh thyme chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
4 cups brown stock
 In a mixing bowl,stir the stewing meat with the flour and 3 to 4 tbl of creole spice blend. Heat the oil in the fry pan on medium to high heat and add the meat to brown it. Sear the meat for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring. When the meat has browned on the outside, transfer it to the slow cooker. Now over medium heat, saute the onions, celery and carrots in the same fry pan adding little more oil if needed. After 2 to 3 minutes, add salt,  pepper and garlic and saute while stirring until the vegetables are starting to soften. Now add the tomatoes, basil and thyme and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker. Deglaze the fry pan with the red wine, and pour in to the slow cooker as well. Add the 4 cups of stock to the slow cooker. Stir and place on the lid. Cook this way on medium for about 4 hours.One to two hours on the stove top or in the oven is probably sufficient. 


A more flavorful result is achieved with low heat for an extended period of time. Stew should never be rushed.
Alternatively you can simmer this recipe in a large pot with a lid on top of the stove, however you'll need to keep an eye on the liquid portion and add more stock if it cooks away.If you prefer a dutch oven or oven proof pot, you could bake this at 300 degrees. Again watch your liquid and add more stock if it seems to evaporate.
Deglazing  involves adding the wine to a medium hot fry pan to loosen all the little bits left in the pan from meat and vegetables. Scrap gently with a spatula and cook the brown bits briefly before depositing this mixture in the cooking pot with the rest of the ingredients.
Feel free to remove the lid from your pot when its close to the end of your cooking time if you think the sauce needs a bit of thickening. At our house we enjoy this dish with a side of mashed potatoes.Yum!! 

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