It has been a while since we were quite so excited to share a recipe. But this brand new recipe is a carnival in your mouth. Something like you would expect when you had that magic “best I ever had” moment.
At Dizzy Pig, we pride ourselves on putting a fresh flavorful spin on familiar favorites, but when it came to tackling mom’s traditional stew recipe it was hard to move past the memory of veggies cooked into submission in a brown gravy with the occasional bump of generically labeled ‘stewing beef’ floating about. Familiar and comforting is some ways, but certainly lacking the kind of kick-in-the-taste-buds we are used to experiencing here at Dizzy Pig!
So, with the idea of building layer upon layer of flavor in mind, without shortcut or compromise, Chris came up with this intensive, and intensely flavorful, recipe that rethinks and reworks what a winter stew can be. Shut off your cell phone, put your tablet on airplane mode and block off about 4 hours and go full foodie commando. We promise; the time and the effort in building this bowl of wonderful comfort is definitely worth it.
2 pounds beef (1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes) (chuck, shoulder, brisket)
2 tbsp Dizzy Pig Raising the Steaks
1 tbsp Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head
1 tsp Dizzy Pig Bombay Curry-ish (optional – see notes)
Oil for browning beef and sautéing onions
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root (Use up to 2 tbsp. for an even brighter stew)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 additional clove of garlic for mushroom sauté
3 medium onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 IPA beer or bottle of wine. Some to help deglaze pan, some to drink.
2 tsp orange zest (from 1 small orange)
1/3 cup all purpose flour (If you are avoiding wheat/gluten, a gluten-free flour can be substituted)
1 quart beef broth/stock
4 red potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 sweet potato, cubed (1/2 inch dice at most)
Pat of butter
1 package cremini mushrooms (Baby bella)
- Preheat oven to 275°F. You’ll be cooking and tenderizing your beef for a couple hours in there.
- Season beef cubes tossing with 2 tbsp Raising the Steaks
- Take some of the flour (I used 2 TBSP) and lightly coat beef cubes. Some folks do this in a plastic bag, I spread out beef on waxed paper and sprinkled flour over beef.
- Shake off any excess flour and brown beef on stovetop (or on grill) in hot pan with oil. A cast iron or stainless dutch oven works best. Use something you can put directly in the oven. Do 2 or 3 batches to assure good browning. Don’t stir until well browned on one side. The brown crusty bits left in your pan are flavor. You’ll appreciate it later. Super-dark brown is okay. Careful not to burn pan crust as it will be bitter.
- Remove each batch of beef from pan after a few minutes of browning and reserve. A slotted spoon works best to reserve fat/oil in pan for the next batch.
- Once all beef is browned and reserved, add a little more oil if needed, then onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper.
- Sauté while scraping crust from pan, about 5 minutes. Use a little additional liquid if needed. I had lots of crust on the pan and used a half bottle of a tasty, hoppy India Pale Ale to help with the deglazing. A tangy wine would be perfect as well.
- Add orange zest, then remaining flour and incorporate into onion mixture.
- Stir in beef broth and incorporate.
- Cover and bake in oven for about an hour and a half to two hours until meat is nearly tender. You will be cooking more, so you don’t want the meat to be falling apart at this stage. I used brisket, and needed the full 2 hours in the oven.
- Remove from oven, add potatoes, tomatoes.
- Simmer on stove for 40-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile coat sweet potato chunks in oil, then sprinkle on and toss to coat with Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head. This will build an amazing caramelized sweet crust on the sweet potatoes before adding to stew. You could put the sweet potatoes right into the stew raw, but if you want the real experience you should not skip the next step.
- Brown diced sweet potatoes in a separate pan until caramelized (5-10 minutes).
- Add browned sweet potatoes to stew pot.
- Sauté mushrooms for a few minutes in butter and more garlic until well browned. You could put the mushrooms right into the stew raw, but this adds an extra depth of flavor to the stew.
- Add mushrooms to main stew pot.
- If stew is getting too thick, add liquid…beer, broth, or both (in small amounts).
- Correct for flavor. (see suggestions below)
- When potatoes are tender, serve!
I did very little to correct the flavor on my version. I found it well balanced and simply added a couple pinches of salt to taste, but here are some other options. If you are not sure how an ingredient will affect the flavor, you can always pull out a little broth, and see what the addition of these items does to the flavor:
Red wine vinegar
Orange Bombay Curry-ish