Chrissy Inspired Beef Stew

Let me be clear, this recipe was tailored from the recipe in Chrissy Tiegen’s 2nd cookbook Cravings: Hungry for More.  I’ve made some notable adjustments, but wanted to make it clear that I did not develop this recipe from scratch.  If you have been curious about Chrissy’s cookbooks, let me also tell you loud and clear, THEY ARE AMAZING.  The recipes I’ve tried so far have all been keepers.  Especially with Christmas around the corner, I can’t tell you enough how much I recommend these cookbooks.  There are tons of recipes, laughs, tips, and there is an emphasis on Thai food which I haven’t had the guts to try out.

Now this stew.  This stew is one of, if not THE best thing I’ve ever made.  Yep. Ask Nate. Ask the chef.  He even said the meat was perfect. Oh, and no shame, after I put the leftover stew in a container – I mopped up the sides of the pot with 2 rolls.  No food waste here!!  Yes, it takes some time, but honestly, once you get everything in the pot and simmering, you can walk away and get other things done while you wait for the magic to happen.  This meal is perfect for a fall day, winter snow, rainy days, anytime your belly needs a hug!!

5 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 pounds stew meat, cut into chunks

1 onion, diced

3 heaping spoons jarred garlic

1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste

4 cups beef broth

1 can French onion condensed soup

1 slice of bacon, raw

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

4 carrots, cut into 2” pieces

2 celery, cut into 2” pieces

1 – 15 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed

2 bay leaves

In a large pot/dutch oven heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.

Pat meat dry and season with salt & pepper.  Add to pot and sear until brown on each side. THIS STEP IS SO IMPORTANT TO DO CORRECTLY! Don’t overcrowd your pot or the meat will steam instead of brown.  And the browning is what gives your stew the crazy good flavor.  You may need to do this step in 2 batches. Place each finished batch on a plate to rest. Besides overcrowding, the other key to browning is not touching/peeking at the meat.  Leave it alone for a couple minutes, then check it.  You’re going for a brown crust, not black & burnt J

You will have a lot of leftover oil/fat when you’re done.  Remove all but 3 tablespoons. Then add the onion to the same pot. Stir and scrape around the pot to coat the onions in the brown bits from the meat. After about 3 minutes, add your garlic (jarred or fresh), and let it cook another 3 minutes.

Next, add the tomato paste, stir & scrape around.  Let it continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to really infuse the onions with the tomato paste and deepen the tomato flavor. *I have purposely not used anymore salt and pepper* Don’t do it! J

Add the broth, scrape the brown bits off the bottom! Add the French onion soup, Worcestershire, sugar, beef/juices from plate, and the slice of bacon. TRUST ME on the bacon…bring mixture to a boil, and cover/simmer over medium/low heat for 2 hours. The liquid will thicken and darken (I cracked the lid the last 45 minutes to reduce the sauce more).

Next, throw in the rest of the ingredients…the carrots, celery, white beans, and bay leaves. Cover/simmer another hour.  Depending how thick or brothy you prefer your stew, you will want to crack the lid or not.  But keep a close eye on it if you decide to crack the lid, it will thicken quicker than you think.

Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Between the salt/seasoning on the meat, French onion soup, and bacon, I didn’t have to add anything!

Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, by itself, mop it up with a roll/sponge like I did!!  ENJOY!!

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