Since the winter blast has come early and viciously this year, it's definitely time to get some hearty soups and stews bubbling away in the old crock pot. And I just happened to see the perfect candidate on a recent episode of Bitchin' Kitchen, a marvelous-looking stew where the vegetables are roasted before adding them to the stew. It sounded deliciously intriguing, so for dinner tonight, I made my version of Nadia G's Beef and Roasted Vegetable Stew. My friend, Karen, teases me that I'm always making a "version" of someone else's recipe, implying that I can't leave well enough alone, I suppose. And I know she's right, and yet I can't help but tinker.
More specifically, Nadia G's recipe called for beets (I hate them) and parsnips (love them, but didn't have any on hand). So I swapped out both sweet and gold potatoes in the roasted veg mix. I also had half a can of tomato paste knocking about in the fridge, so I threw that in the braising liquid for good measure. Oh, and I didn't have red lentils, so I used brown, and as is my way, I stewed the beef in the crock pot instead of on the stove top. So I'm not sure when it stops being Nadia G's recipe and starts becoming mine, but I always try to give credit where it's due.
Beef and Roasted Vegetable Stew
4 parsnips, chopped (I swapped a few Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks)
2 red onions, chopped
4 beets, chopped (I swapped out a few sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 (1-inch thick) slices beef foreshank, with the meat cut into bite-size cubes, reserve bone (I believe I used a big flat-iron steak that I unearthed from the freezer)
1/4 cup flour, for tossing beef cubes into
1/2 cup red wine*
6 cups beef stock
1 celery stalk, halved
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pinch black peppercorns
1/2 cup dry red lentils (I used brown lentils)
pinch of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.