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Winter Dinner Recipes: Soups and Stews

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When the nights are dark and chilly, a bowl of hot soup goes a long way to keeping a body warm. These winter recipes don't need to be fancy. Soup can be as simple as heating up a bowl of chicken broth and tossing in a slice or two of fresh ginger to give it a bit more heat. If you have an extra hour or two to spend on your winter recipes, however, a hearty stew is more filling and often gives you enough leftovers for the next day or two. The following beef stew is based on a recipe from Chowhound.

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Winter Dinner Recipes: Soups and Stews
Credit: CC by 2.0/jeffreyw/Wikimedia Commons

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Trim most but not all of the excess fat from the chuck roast and cut the meat into 1 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once the oil is shimmering, sear the beef until the pieces are brown on all sides. To ensure a good sear, leave some space between each cube of meat. You may need to work in batches and move the meat to a separate plate as it's cooked. Set the beef aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the onion and garlic, and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened and are turning brown, about five minutes. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot as you do this. Add the tomato paste, stir well and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the beef, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate, back into the pot. Add the wine, beef broth, herbs and flour. Bring to a boil and stir until the liquid has thickened. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for an hour.
  5. Add the carrots and potatoes, along with more salt and pepper as desired. If the stew looks too dry, add a cup of beef broth or water. Stir to combine, cover the pot again and simmer for another hour or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. You can serve the stew warm with some good crusty bread, or you can refrigerate it for the next day, when the flavors become more concentrated.
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