Thursday, March 10, 2011

Italian Beef Stew with Polenta

The long winter days are finally, thankfully coming to an end. I for one am ready to say goodbye. We are already enjoying the first signs of spring here. The daffodils are in bloom as are the forsythias. Although it is a cold dreary day here today, spring is just around the corner and I am thrilled!

Even though winter is not my favorite season of the year. I do enjoy the warmth and comfort that winter foods bring. Most especially braised meats, stews, roasts. There is nothing like stepping into your kitchen after a dish has been in the oven for several hours. It smells divine and everything is warm and cozy while snow is falling outside!

So, as a last hurrah for winter, I made this beef stew. it was everything I love in a stew! I especially liked the addition of the sun-dried tomatoes rather than the traditional diced tomatoes that are in so many stews. When you make this, just remember to start it early, it is a good 3 hour cooking time. Enjoy the warmth and coziness it brings on these last winter days.

This post has been linked to Eat at Home.

Italian Beef Stew with Polenta

  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (or substitute beef stock)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless beef chuck pot roast (3 lbs), trimmed and cut into 1-in pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice onions and slice tomatoes in half lengthwise; place in dutch oven or roasting pan (with lid). Combine wine, tomato paste and flour; whisk until incorporated. Whisk in stock until blended; pour mixture into roasting pan.
Combine oil, rosemary, pressed garlic, salt and black pepper; mix well. Place rosemary mixture and beef in a mixing bowl; mix well and pour over onion mixture. Bake, covered, 1 hour. Carefully remove from oven. Stir beef mixture. Cover and bake an additional 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring every hour.
Meanwhile, cut carrots on a bias into 1/2 inch slices. Stir into stew during the last 40 minutes of cooking. Remove baker from oven and let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until stew is thickened. Serve with Polenta, if desired.

For Polenta

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Bring water to a simmer over medium heat in saucepan. Add salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in cornmeal; whisk until incorporated. Cook 3-4 minutes until thick, whisking often. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter and cream.

Yield 8 servings (1 cup servings)

Calories 340, Total Fat 11 g. Saturated Fat 3.5 g. Cholesterol 70 mg. Carbohydrate 17 g.
Protein 39 g. Sodium 860 mg. Fiber 3 g

1 comment:

  1. Beef stew with polenta sounds so good. I would never have thought to serve those 2 things together.