Okay, it’s not Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon. But we made some mighty fine beef stew the other day. Nothing fancy, but so delicious I wanted to climb into the bowl. Here’s the basic idea.
Brown two pounds of stew meat in the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot with some oil. Use as much oil as you need–possibly more than a couple tablespoons full. And really brown it, don’t just sort of brown it. Turn the pieces over with tongs and brown them on the other side, too. Mind you don’t put the entire two pounds in there at once. Do the pieces in two or three shifts. When all pieces are browned, remove them from the pot.
Put in some chopped vegetables: A cup or two of carrots, a green pepper, two small onions, two or three celery stalks, three small potatoes, and three cloves of garlic. Saute these until all the brown stuff comes up off the bottom of the pot.
Stir the meat back in. Add one bottle of Guinness beer or whatever fun thing you have around. You can easily add a cup of red wine or whatever. It’s only right that the cook(s) get an equal amount of whatever you’re putting in. Then add salt and some fresh rosemary and thyme.
Cover and simmer for a really long time. I mean, it’s fine if you throw it into your slow cooker in the morning and go to work, okay? That long. Some of the vegetables may disappear into a thick, brown gravy, but who cares, right?
If you’re too lazy to bake your own bread, stop on the way home for a loaf of asiago cheese bread from Panera. Enjoy.