Tonight's dinner was all about comfort. I've been wanting to make beef stew for awhile now, and finally decided to "just do it" today. I found a recipe at Sweetnicks blog (a link to her site is on the left side in the favorite Food Sites section). It's Oven Baked Beef Stew. Her review of it made my mouth water, so it seemed like the right choice. After very little prep time, just cutting up some carrots, potatoes and shallots (for some bizarre reason I was actually out of onions!) we were on our way to comfort food for dinner. It cooks slowly in the oven for about 2 hours and this wonderful smell just wafts through the house.
Honestly, if I didn't stop myself at one bowl, I would have gone back for 2nd's and 3rd's of it! The sauce has an amazing depth of flavor that just makes you want to sop it up with some nice crusty bread. Note to self: get a loaf of crusty bread for next time! Overall, this one got a thumb's up all around our dinner table.
Edited to add: I just found the original source was SandyM at the Cooking Light Message Boards. Just wanted to give the appropriate credit for the original recipe.
Oven Baked Beef Stew
Source: Cate @ Sweetnicks (SandyM @CL message board)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1-1/2" cubes
1/3 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon or 1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 can diced tomatoes (12 oz.) undrained
15 oz. beef broth (a can and a half)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups cubed potatoes
4 medium carrots, sliced
3 small onions, quartered (shallots make a nice substitution)
1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in 4 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown beef cubes in oil. Add flour, salt, garlic powder, marjoram and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, broth and wine; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Cover, bake for 2 hours or until meat is tender, stirring twice during baking.