Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Cook's Country Best Lost Suppers" - Horseradish Beef Stew

Date I made this recipe: December 30th and December 31st, 2010

Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen
Published by: America’s Test Kitchen
ISBN: 13: 978-1-933615-44-8
Recipe: Horseradish Beef Stew – p. 59

It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. (Actually, the phrase I like to use it "Well, there's another year shot to hell.") I don’t know where the time went.

My family came into town again this year to help ring in the New Year and I wanted something that wasn’t too involved or complicated and that would satisfy my dad’s cravings for meat and potatoes. My dad has a pretty evolved palate but at the end of the day, the man likes his beef. Dad also likes horseradish and so this recipe, with its 2 cups of horseradish, is perfect.

I only have two very small complaints about this recipe: first, I personally hate when recipes tell me what size pieces to cut (“1 ½-inch cubes, “1-inch pieces…”). Are you like me? Do you want to pull out a tape measure for accuracy? (Believe it or don’t, I have a tape measure in my kitchen that I use to measure cake pans. I wasn’t in the mood to take it out to measure potatoes and carrots so there it sat/sits! It’s the littlest things that drive me nuts.

Second, my vegetables were still a little crisp after the 1 ½ hours of final cooking time. If this were anyone but America’s Test Kitchen, I would cut them some slack but people, the “Test” in the title says it all—these people regularly test recipes for a living. So either my oven was just being ornery that day or they need a “do-over.” Just saying…

Since this stew was pretty hearty, I accompanied it with a tossed green salad and bread…and then threw in some ice cream for dessert…and oh what the heck, some cookies (from The Finnish Bistro down the road). Hey, it’s New Year’s Eve – we’re allowed!

Here’s hoping you all have a great year!

Horseradish Beef Stew – serves 8
4 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 onions, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
2 (8-ounce) jars prepared horseradish (I used creamy horseradish)
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 ½ pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large Portobello mushroom caps, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the beef and cook until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with 1 tablespoon more oil and the remaining beef.

Heat 1 tablespoon more oil in the pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broths, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the horseradish and dill seed.

Return the beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 50 minutes, then stir in the potatoes and carrots. Cover and continue to cook until the meat is tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours longer.

Meanwhile, heat 1 ½ teaspoons more oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their juices and are brown around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer the mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons oil and the remaining mushrooms.

Stir the parsley into the stew and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, sprinkling individual portions with the mushrooms.

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