I have a confession to make: I love eating beef stew with French fries. Just French fries. Skip the salad or greens, just give me the meat and fries and I’m a happy Dutch girl. It’s my favorite kind of ‘junk food’. We call it “stoofvlees” here.
There are tons of different ways to make stoofvlees. It even depends on what part of the Netherlands you live in—in the South they use lots of vinegar for it. I never really cared for the acidic stew version, so I always make mine this way. Even though it’s a basic stew, it’s quite fragrant and there’s a great balance between lots of subtle flavors that all come together in the end. I even gave it a little American twist! Normally I’d add a few drops of beer as well, but I don’t cook with alcohol when my son eats along.
I marinade my beef for 24 hours, so I’ll give you the marinade recipe first.
1 1/2 pound stew meat
1 small red onion
3 garlic cloves
2 rosemary sprigs
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp coarse mustard
3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 pound stew meat. Leave the fat on; it’ll add flavor. Cut the beef in tiny cubes. I got my friend Suzanne to cut it for me since I had important photography to do :)
Put the beef cubes in a large ziploc bag.
Peel and cut a small red onion in half, and thinly slice it.
If you like garlic cloves in your beef stew, feel free to chop or grate them so you can leave them in. I want some of the flavor, but not all of it so I’m removing them later on. Right now I’ll just bash them up a bit.
Beautiful fresh green rosemary. It’s almost too pretty! Let’s fix that.
Smack it a few times. This will release some of the oils and take the prettiness level down a nudge or two. Beauty is overrated anyway!
Pour 3 to 4 tbsp oil in a bowl.
Add 2 tbsp red wine vinegar.
Also add a slightly heaping tbsp coarse mustard, a good pinch of salt & pepper and stir well.
Throw the onions, garlic cloves and rosemary in with the beef cubes.
Pour in the marinade.
Start squeezing the bag until everything is properly combined and evenly distributed. Place the bag in the fridge and let the beef cubes marinade overnight (preferably for 24 hours).
Stoofvlees part II can be found right here.