Beef or Bison Stew, for two.
¾-1 lb. Beef or bison: Either lean sirloin cut into 2” cubes, or
ground chuck rolled into 2” meat balls.
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour (can be gluten free)
2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ large onion, chopped into small dice
2 carrots chopped into small dice
1 small red pepper, but into medium dice
1 -2 red potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup red wine
¾ cup beef broth or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp cinnamon
Prepare vegetables so they are ready to go after the meat is browned. Cut the large onion in half (split it down the middle of the root), and chop one half of that onion into medium dice size. Peel two carrots and chop into fine dice. Cut one small red pepper into meduim dice size and one red potato cut into small dice. Lastly, take 2 garlic cloves, smash and mince and add at the end.
In a small mixing bowl, pour in 2 Tbsp. flour. Add a few dashes salt and black pepper and shake the bowl to incorporate. Salt and pepper the meat on both sides. Drop meat cubes or ground meat balls into seasoned flour and shake bowl again to flip and coat meat.
Pour vegetable oil or olive oil into Dutch oven or braising pan on medium, to medium high heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Shake excess flour off the meat and drop it into the hot oil. Let it sauté long enough to brown then turn it so all sides get brown. Cook meat in batches, with maybe 6 pieces of meat frying at one time so they don’t over crowd and start steaming. Take out before cooked and place on a clean cutting board. Once all meat is cooked, let all meat rest on this board. They will all be poured back into the pan once all vegetables are also seared.
Once all meat is out of the pan, pour off any dark oil or fat left at the bottom of the pan. Add a Tbsp or so more of fresh vegetable oil to the pan, and take it off the burner and reduce the heat to medium. Take your wooden or rubber spatula and scrape all the nice brown cooked leftover bits off the bottom and stir into the new oil.
Now, put the pan back onto the stove and start adding veggies. Start with carrots first since they take the longest. Add sea salt and black ground pepper and stir them so they get coated with oil and sauté for 1 minute. Then add onions and repeat the procedure. Add potatoes next and repeat. You may want to cover and let the moisture keep potatoes from drying out while you let them cook for another few minutes or until they start to become tender. Then add red peppers and garlic together, repeat, and then add in the meat along with its juices that may have seeped out while resting.
Pour 1/2 cup of good red wine (what we were drinking) to the pan, let sizzle and partially absorb the wine adding flavor into the meat. Add 1 bay leaf, Thyme, (1/4 tsp.) and cinnamon, (1/4 tsp.). Add 3/4 cup beef broth (chicken broth if you don’t have beef). Stir all together and simmer while covered. (You want enough liquid to partially cover the meat. If you need more liquid, you can add a little bit of water.)
Bring contents to a medium boil, then turn down to a low simmer, cover, and let cook for 15-25 minutes. Take cover off, check to see if done, and then serve when ready.
The cinnamon and thyme are subtle but add depth and a savory note. The wine also adds sweetness, tenderizes, and adds depth and savory. The meat and vegetables come about with the most delicious, hardy, savory flavor that will win anyone over. A man will love you for making this!
*Serve with sliced toasted sour dough garlic bread. Buy a loaf from the bakery. Cut off ¼ of the loaf. Slice open several slices. Spread butter on each piece. Sprinkle garlic powder and Parmesan cheese on each slice, then put those pieces under the broiler for 5 minutes till butter is bubbling and bread is toasted. (Men love garlic toast. So good and soaks up the gravy) You can also leave the bread joined at the bottom (not cutting all the way through) and enclose it in foil. Put it in the oven and bake until hot and serve as soft warm with dinner. Either way, its fabulous.
**This dish needs a masculine hearty Cabernet to compliment. Any Napa Valley or French Bordeaux or Super Tuscan would be outstanding. You could also serve a Chianti with this as well since the acid in the Chianti would cut through this soft beefy dish.
***Serve with a salad – If you feel the need, a salad is a perfect side. But I would make it small because this meaty meal is filling and rich, especially with the bread and wine. There is little room for anything but a light raw salad.