Who are we kidding? Every day is lazy around here! Not for long though, I feel that given my last pregnancy I only have about a month left of the sickies. Don't be fooled by my plastic bowls and plates. This stew tasted like it deserved to be served on a golden platter.
The meat was so tender it melted in my mouth. The flavors of the carrots, potatoes, and peas with the tomato flavor in the sauce was the epitome of comfort food. It may seem like a strange meal for Arizona in the middle of August, but I do very little normal around here. Might I add the cornbread is the perfect touch to a dish like this.
4 lbs bottom round, trimmed and cut into 2-in pieces or 4 lbs precut stew meat
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2-in pieces, peel if desired
8 oz baby-cut carrots
1 14.5 oz can beef broth
1 T kosher salt
1 T fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the beef in the flour. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat (Dutch oven matters here--the lid has to be heavy enough to really trap moisture and heat). Add some of the beef to the pot, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Reduce heat to medium, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the wine and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, for 1 minute. Add the beef, potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the peas and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or so. Ladle into individual bowls.
TO FREEZE: Omit the peas. Let the stew cool, then ladle it into resealable freezer bags. Store for up to 3 months.