Beef stew is great cold weather comfort food.  Just the act of preparing it is comforting.  I love the way red wine, braised beef, onions, and thyme smell as they bubble for hours melding their flavors together.  I made this beef stew using grass-fed beef from Butternut Woods farm.  Knowing I am using the best quality local beef I could find is comforting too.  I served it in bowls with warm whole grain bread but you can pour it over egg noodles, rice or potatoes too.

Dry 3 pounds of stew meat with paper towels.
You can either purchase beef labeled stew meat, or cut  1″cubes of beef
from a rump, chuck, sirloin, top or bottom round roast.
Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven.
Place pieces of beef in the oil, careful not to crowd them.
Cook until the beef browns.
Continue with all the meat in batches and set aside. 
Dice 3 onions.
Peel and dice 2 carrots.
Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in the pot you cooked the meat in.
Add the onions and carrots.
Saute for 10 minutes over medium heat.
Mince 3 cloves of garlic and add to the pot.
Saute for 1 minute.
Add 1 Tablespoon of butter and 3 Tablespoons of flour.
Whisk together and cook for 4 minutes.
Add 3 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of red wine.
Whisk well and bring to a simmer.
Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper,
2 bay leaves and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Mix well.
Add the browned beef.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and place in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours.
Remove from oven and discard bay leaves and thyme stalks.
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