~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chipotle Flavored Beef Stew (my way)

Chipotle Flavored Beef Stew (my way)... I love making this stew in the crock pot. Ideal dish to make on a busy day or for Sunday supper. I have made this recipe without browning the beef on the stove top as well and it comes out delicious. But, I feel that the browning gives it a more deeper flavor. So, when I have time I usually brown it....like I did for this recipe.

You can definitely other vegetables, such as carrots or celery. This time around I omitted the carrots and celery. I prefer using a red wine for this recipe as it brings the stew up a notch. The flavor can't be beat. But, if you don't have any wine you can definitely use stock or even water....but, I would use carrots /celery and onion to improve on the flavors.

Ideally, the best cut of meat for this stew would be something like beef chuck. Actually, it is ideal for this type of stew.... moist and flavorful. But if you have another cut like rump/round, it will also work... just maybe be a bit more dry and not as flavorful. I also used chipotle peppers to flavor the stew.... wanted something new and different. I love the tinge of spiciness and the robust smoked flavor it imparts. But, that is optional. Hope you enjoy...

You will need:

2 lbs beef chuck (cut in 2 inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 shallot minced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 TBS sauce
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup water mixed with 1 1/2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS flour
3 TBS oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Season beef with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a large heavy pot and add 1 TBS oil.
3. Add cut up beef in batches using about 1 TBS of oil for each batch. You want to sear the meat and get some browned bits on the bottom of the pot. The browned bits have a ton of flavor. I usually, heat my pot on medium heat. But, check the heat every so often so the meat doesn't burn.
4. Place seared beef in crock pot.
5. To the browned bits in the pan, add the diced onion and shallots.
6. Keep the heat on low and add about 2 TBS water to help release the bits....or deglaze. Scraping often until all the browned bits have been released.
7. Add the garlic let it cook for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook for about 2-3 minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol. Pour this over the beef in the crock pot.
8. Add the water and tomato paste mixture. Add flour and mix everything well.
9. Add the chipotle and adobo sauce (if using).
10. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hrs. Check after 4 hrs to see if the sauce is thickened up and the beef is tender. The onions should have melted into the sauce.
This stew is great over pasta/rice as well as mashed potatoes.

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