It has been an unusual spring. There were two or three times where I was convinced that 'stew weather' was past and I'd rush to heat up the BBQ only to be shocked by the sight of snow falling. I made this recipe on one of those days.
This stew is a little easier than most because the majority of the cooking time is in the oven where you do not need to bother with it. I like recipes like this - a bit of fuss at the beginning but then you can forget about it.
This sweet potato beef stew is a healthy twist on a classic cold weather dish. Serve this up with bread to make sure you get all the delicious sauce!
Beef and Sweet Potato Stew
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
1-1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, halved
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium turnip, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 325°. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add remaining oil to pan. Add onions; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth and wine, stirring to remove browned bits from pan. Stir in thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Return beef to pan; bring to a boil. Bake, covered, 1-1/4 hours.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into stew. Add sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips and turnip to pan. Bake, covered, 45-60 minutes longer or until beef and vegetables are tender. If desired, strain cooking juices; skim fat. Return cooking juices to Dutch oven.
Yield: 8 servings (2-1/2 quarts).