Here in New York the weather just started to finally get cold, and truth be told….I love it. I love breaking out my winter weather accessories, sipping some indulgent hot cocoa and whipping up some comforting meals.
I had been meaning to work on my recipe for apple cider beef stew, and the cooler weather gave me the perfect chance to do so. My favorite step to this recipe is adding the potatoes to the stew 1.5-2 hours into the cooking, as opposed to right at the beginning. This ensures a cooked, but still-firm potato.
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch crushed red pepper
2 cups apple cider
1 cup red wine
1 cup vegetable or beef stock
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper liberally over beef. Cover beef in light coating of flour.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a dutch oven or other large oven-safe pot. Brown meat on all sides and then remove from pot and set aside on a dish.
Add another Tbsp olive oil and saute onions, carrots and garlic cloves, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and pinch of red pepper flakes continuing to stir. Saute vegetables until transluscent.
Add apple cider, red wine, stock and balsamic vinegar and let come to simmer. Add salt and pepper. Place beef back into the pot, stir and cover cooking for 2 hours in preheated oven.
At the 2 hour mark, add the potatoes. Taste the stew, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Put stew back into the oven for another 45 minutes.
Serve with rice or noodles.