Monday, February 4, 2013

February Secret Recipe Club...Featuring Big Bowl of Love Beef Stew from The Cooking Rookie

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month, my assigned blog was The Cooking Rookie. This blog had tons of great recipes to choose from, including tons of great desserts and breads. I looked through the blog and thought about making one of her amazing bread recipes. Then, I saw a fabulous-looking beef stew recipe that she featured from the Big Bowl of Love cookbook. It featured peas and corn, two ingredients I hadn't seen in a stew before, and the beef was braised in a mixture of broth and red wine. Count me in! I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe to use what I had on hand in my kitchen and to fit our preferences. Neither of us likes peas, so I subbed an equal amount of sliced celery. I also doubled the amount of fresh thyme called for and used small Yukon gold potatoes in place of the baby red potatoes the original recipe called for.

The kitchen smelled absolutely fabulous as this dish cooked away in the oven. My mouth was watering the entire time it cooked! The initial prep work takes about 30 minutes, but the rest of the work is done by the oven. While the stew slowly braised in the oven for 2 hours, I did other stuff around the house. Even better? No sides are necessary since this hearty stew is a meal in a bowl. That means less dishes to clean, which = a win-win scenario in my book!

Big Bowl of Love Beef Stew 
adapted from The Cooking Rookie

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Heat an oven-safe Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add 1-2 tbs. olive oil. When the oil is hot, add 1.5 beef stew meat that's been sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and brown for another 4-5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup red wine...I used cabernet. Stir to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the Dutch oven and place in a large bowl. Add 2 tbs. flour and stir to combine. Set aside.

Step 2: Add 1 tbs. olive oil to the Dutch oven. Saute a chopped medium yellow onion until translucent -- about 5 minutes. Then, add 2 grated or finely chopped garlic cloves. Cook for 30 seconds, just until the garlic releases its fragrance. Add an additional 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 cup chicken stock, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and add the reserved meat and drippings. Stir well to combine, then put the lid on top of the Dutch oven.  Bake for 1 hour.

Step 3: Combine the following vegetables in a large bowl: 3 small Yukon gold potatoes cut into bite-size chunks, 3/4 cup chopped portabello mushrooms, 2-3 sliced small carrots, 1/2 cup cork kernels, and 2 sliced stalks celery. After the stew has cooked for an hour, remove from oven and add the vegetables. Add 1 cup chicken stock or water and stir to combine. Cover and cook for an additional hour.

Step 4: Let the stew rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows it to cool slightly, which allows the flavors to combine better. To serve, ladle the stew into serving bowls. You can serve with a salad or crusty bread, but we found it to be a perfect all-in-one meal. 

This stew was great! After cooking in the oven for 2 hours, the meat was tender and juicy. The combination of red wine and broth gave the stew a great depth of flavor, and the ratio of meat to vegetables was nice. I had never had stew with corn in it before, but it worked really nicely. We both had two servings of this stew...that's how much we enjoyed it!

I hope you'll take a moment to visit all of the Secret Recipe Club Group A blogs today...and see what fun recipes they're sharing. Each month, we share the best of each other's blogs...and there's something for everybody!!!


  1. i'm planning on making beef stew soon... will have to save this recipe. nice SRC was so fun having you this month :)

  2. This stew look wonderful! I feel like making it again now. I am very glad you liked it. And thank you so much for the kind words about my blog!

  3. A nice hearty stew is oh so welcome this time of year, delicious.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry Lemon Almond Biscotti.


  4. This beef stew looks so hearty. Perfect for a cold night in Colorado! Thank you for sharing it...I love how much color the vegetables add! I hope you are doing well Wendy! Miss you!

  5. Hi Wendy, just letting you know that your link to Food on Friday: Marinades & Rubs was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Have a nice week.

  6. Perfect for a winter's dinner. Nice job for the SRC!

  7. Stew is so wonderful. Your photos are beautiful, especially with stew that is so hard to shoot! Congratulations!!

  8. Coming over from the SRC (group B). I too made a beef stew this month and it shall post next Monday. Mmmmmm!!!!!


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