Hearty Beef Stew with grass fed, local, Philly Cow!
After being mostly Paleo for a year and a half now, and being more conscious of the quality and source of our food (and less conscious of our wallets), Scott and I finally went all in and bought 1/8 of a cow through Philly Cow Share. We picked up around 43lbs of wholesome, local, grass fed beef last week. Complete with ample steaks, some ribs, roasts, ground beef, and stew meat. Our freezer is packed and we couldn’t be more excited!
For our first meal, we decided to celebrate the cooler weather and cook up a nice pot of stew using some of the pre-cut stew meat along with two beef shanks (osso buco); Because yes, there are a few cuts that have been divided between the 8 groups that just don’t add up to full meals on their own. Luckily, we have full confidence in the kitchen when it comes to meat and we knew that the osso buco would cook up deliciously and tenderly in a pot of stew while the bits of marrow from the shank bones would help boost the richness as well. However, feel free to go ahead and use the original 3lbs of stew meat if you are shank-less.
This recipe is adapted from our favorite cookbook, Braises and Stews by Tori Ritchie. However, having tried this in the past and made note of the intensity of the wine, I played with the ratio of broth to wine a bit to result in a more even flavor and to cut down on the sugars. Also, staying true to our cavemen ways, I omitted the small amount of flour and sugar the original recipe called for.
- 3lbs beef stew, preferably grass fed chuck; or 2lbs beef stew and 2 osso buco shanks
- kosher salt and black pepper
- coconut oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth (If you have homemade or 100% stock, use that! We were unfortunately stuck with organic, yet chock-full-of-additional-ingredients store-bought broth)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
Cut the stew meat into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels. If using, dry the beef shanks as well. Sprinkle all meat generously with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a 5-7 quart dutch oven with coconut oil and set the pot over medium-high heat.
When oil is hot enough, add meat in one layer and sear it on both sides until meat lifts up easily, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat in batches with the remaining meat, being careful not to overcrowd it. Once all the meat is seared and set aside in a separate bowl, add the butter to the pot along with the onions. Cook onions for 3 minutes, until softened, then turn the heat down to low and let onions cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Stir in the thyme, wine, and broth and increase heat to high. Let it come to a boil then stir in the tomato paste. Return the meat to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Let liquid come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If you’d like, add frozen vegetables to the stew near the end; Such as carrots, zucchini, green beans, or peas! Let them cook until softened and warm.