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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fabulous Beef Stew & Sweet Potato Recipe

IMG_0554I had to share this crazy delectable beef stew recipe. I love the fact that it has Sweet Potato rather than white potatoes - it's a great twist. This dish freezes well and looks great on the table, so if you're looking for a make ahead recipe for a dinner party this is a great choice.

Thanks to Joy the Baker for this great beef stew recipe and if you're looking for more inventive and tasty recipes I definitely recommend you check out her site regularly.

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (adapted from Epicurious.com)
makes a big pot.  serves 6.

(Note: One of the last steps calls for sugar. I found that the sweet potatoes and tomato paste made it sweet enough and so I felt it didn’t need the sugar at all, so I would definitely taste before you add any.)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour with a big pinch of salt and pepper
1 1/4 pound stew beef, cut into 1-inch chunks
about 1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely diced
2 cups peeled and thickly sliced carrots
3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup light beer
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
4 cups beef broth (more if you’d like it more soupy)
1 bay leaf
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste
couscous and parsley to serve

In a large brown paper bag, place flour, salt, and pepper.  Add diced beef.  Close the bag.  Hold it tight and shake.  Open bag and make sure that all of the beef is lightly coated in flour and seasoning.  Set aside.

In a large dutch oven (or giant soup pot), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add as much beef as will fit along the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Cook, browning on all sides.  The beef doesn’t need to be cooked through, just browned.  Once all of the beef is cooked, remove from the pan and place on a plate.  Set aside.

In the same dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and heat through.  

Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the beer steams.

Add the sweet potatoes, and cover with beef broth. Add bay leaf, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add beef.  Turn heat to low and let gently simmer for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through,

Taste and add sugar (this helps the acidity), salt, and pepper as necessary.

Serve over couscous or rice with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

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