photo-1For a chilly Sunday night beef stew was the perfect meal. I have a yummy cookbook that I never get to cook out of because everything takes too long or requires a million ingredients. Not so friendly for a weeknight. But here is an easy one that was oh so yummy thanks to Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris — with my special added touchs of course.

Added bonus…it tastes better the second day!


Olive Oil

4 ounces bacon, diced

1 1/4 lbs beef chuck cut into 1 inch cubes

salt / pepper

1/2 lb carrots sliced into 1 inch chunks

1 onion sliced

1/2 bottle good red wine, like a burgundy or cabernet

1 1/4 cups boxed beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon herbs de provence

3 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 lb frozen peal onions

1/2 lb mushrooms thickly sliced (any kind you like)

1/4 lb frozen peas

handful chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup cream

How to make it….

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until the bacon is slightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Dry cubes of beef and season liberally with salt and pepper. In batches sear the meat in hot oil on each side, total about 3-5 minutes. Removed the beef and add to the plate with the bacon.

Place the carrots, onions, salt and pepper in the pot and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the onions are lightly browned add the meat and bacon back into the pot with any juices from the plate. Add the wine and beef broth. Mix in the tomato paste, thyme and herbs de provence. Bring to a boil and cover. Turn heat to low and cook for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and carrots are tender. (Resist the urge to open the lid – all of the heat will escape).

Mix 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the pearl onions. In a separate pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook mushrooms for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add them to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add peas, parsley and the cream. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

Serve over buttered egg noodles and top with extra chopped parsley.