A “Cold” Winter Night In
So I know it has been a warm couple weeks in California, but it’s still winter and during these months I crave a good hearty stew! Since it is supposed to drop all the way down to the 60s today, I thought it would be a perfect time to cook one of my favorite beef stew recipes for my family. The great part about this stew is that I can use the main ingredients for a Stage 2 baby blend and there really isn’t any extra work for me, just one extra pot to stick in the dishwasher!
Baby Food Stew
- This is a stage 2 & 3 puree (8+ months). Always ask your pediatrician before introducing new foods
To make this a stage 1 puree - leave out the seasonings, onion & garlic
You can make this stew for the rest of the family as well (just don't puree) It just won't be as flavorful as the family meal stew below
Please see the Family Meal recipe at the bottom of the post
30 minutes (can do it side by side with adult version)
1 hour & 15 minutes
About 1 lb. of puree - 1 (16 oz) ice cube tray or about 4 simple pouches.
1 teaspoon of olive oil
8 oz of boneless beef chuck, cut into cubes (can get already pre-cut at any Costco, Trader Joes and most supermarkets)
pinch of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
3 oz of onion sliced
1 clove of garlic minced
5 oz of carrots cut in one inch chunks
3 oz of small dutch potatoes sliced
½ teaspoon dry thyme
no salt chicken broth
Dry beef with a paper towel and then season with black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
In single layer batches, sear beef in oil for 3 to 5 minutes, making sure the beef is brown on all sides.
Remove the seared cubes to a separate bowl and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the oil the beef was just searing in and cook them until the onions turn lightly brown.
Place the meat and its juices back in the pot along with the carrots, potatoes and thyme.
Add enough chicken broth to just cover the meat.
Bring to a simmer and cover until beef, carrots and potatoes are tender (about 45 minutes).
Place the stew in the blender and blend to desired consistency. Add water if you need to thin it out.
Once you have reached the desire consistency, serve to your little eater!
Before pouching and freezing, let it cool in an ice bath or refrigerator to prevent ice crystals.
Now as I said, all the main ingredients are used in both the baby and adult recipe. However the adult recipe has a few more fun and flavorful goodies to really add the richness a good stew requires. Oh, and we get to eat salt! Also, you will notice for the baby’s version I used a no salt chicken broth vs. beef broth. I have yet to find a sodium free beef broth that I like, so I made the substitution.
This stew is an adaptation of a few stew recipes that I have made over the years and tweaked the ingredients to exactly what I like. We never seem to finish the whole pot, so thankfully stew tastes even better the next day! I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine and keeps you warm in these upcoming “cold” months!
The Family Meal
45 minutes (can do it side by side with adult version)
2 1/2 hours
3 hour & 15 minutes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
7-8 strips of bacon
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into cubes (can get this already pre-cut at any Costco, Trader Joes, and most supermarkets)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 pound carrots sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions sliced
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 pounds small dutch potatoes quartered
1 (750 ml.) bottle of a dry red wine such as a Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dry)
2 Turkish bay leaves
Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
Add bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon in lightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a large paper towel covered plate.
Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Dust the seasoned beef with all- purpose flour so the beef is lightly coated. In batches of single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes and brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to a separate bowl and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Season the carrots and onions with 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper and place in the pot that the bacon and beef had just been seared in. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook paste, stirring 2 minutes, then stir into vegetables.
Put the meat back into the pot with the juices.
Add the potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Bring everything to a simmer.
Cover and braise on the stove top until meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
If you want a thicker stew, stir in a tablespoon of all-purpose flour in at a time till you get the consistency you like.
Enjoy with some crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine!
Check out another one of our meals for the whole family & baby: