I’ve seen the cranberry sauces come along, each and every one of them. And even though I really do like cranberry sauce, there’s so much more you can do with these little red flavor bombs. How about incorporating some of them in a straightforward beef stew? This turned out to be an absolutely mind-blowing combination, all the flavors came together in a beautiful way. The sweetness of the cranberries is terrific with the beef and onions and the red wine definitely adds body to the stew.
2 pounds fat-streaked stew beef
5 oz bacon
2 cups cranberries
2 large onions
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp molasses
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef bouillon
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
This is a little over 2 pounds beef stew. Pat the beef cubes dry with a paper towel.
Combine 2 tbsp flour with 1/2 a tsp sweet paprika powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt.
Finely mince two large onions.
Lazy cook alert, I took a shortcut and bought cubed bacon.
Cook the bacon ‘til slightly brown but not crispy and remove it from the pan.
Heat 2 tbsp butter. I’m a Dutch girl so I use Croma, it’s the best butter there is! And the name of an Italian car.
Quickly brown the beef. I should have browned this in 2 or maybe even 3 batches, but I was somewhat in a hurry. Remove the beef from the casserole.
Sautee the onions in the bacon and beef grease for about 5 minutes. I was cooking for someone who hates garlic, but if you want to add some, this is your cue.
Throw the bacon and beef in with the onions and sprinkle the spiced up flour all over. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes over low heat. Stir in a heaping tbsp tomato paste and cook the tomato paste for about a minute.
Another big flavor maker is molasses. Add 2 tbsp. For the Dutchies among you, use appelstroop.
Pour in 1 cup red wine and 2 cups beef bouillon. Add 3 bay leaves and 1 tsp dried thyme. Bring to a boil.
Don’t mind me, just showing off the Le Creuset I won with one of my recipes. Pop the lid on and simmer the stew, over low heat, for an hour and a half.
You gotta peek now and then. This is 30 minutes into the cooking process and it’s starting to smell pretty darn good at this point.
After an hour and a half, add 2 cups (washed) cranberries. Pop the lid back on and give the stew another hour.
One hour later the cranberries will have blended in with the gravy. Oh boy, I love the sight and smell of a good beef stew. Check the seasoning and adjust when need be. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves.
Beef stew the way beef stew was meant to be. The meat melted on your tongue and the golden brown gravy was nothing short of a flavor bomb. Heavenly. You can serve this with steamed rice and green beans, tagliatelle and steamed broccoli or simply a big bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes.
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