Oven-Braised Beef Stew with Carrot, Parsnip, and Lacinato Kale

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I’m not gonna lie. This recipe is long and involved and may make you not wanna cook for a few days afterwards. Thankfully, this beef stew is the bomb diggity so it’s worth the work. Beef stews that are slowly braised in the oven are tastier than those you cook in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Make this stew on a lazy weekend day so you can serve it later in your workweek. It reheats well and, like all stews, it tastes better the next day.

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My favorite cut for beef stew is boneless short ribs but there was a sale at Whole Paycheck for chuck roast so that’s what I used. Short ribs get super tender and don’t dry out like chuck can so use them if you can.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 4 lb chuck roast 
  • 4 large leeks, white parts only (split down the middle and sliced crosswise)
  • 6 shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons, divided of macadamia nut oil or fat of choice
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 6 ounces Cremini mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into medium sized pieces
  • 4 large carrots, cut into fourths
  • 12 mini parsnips, trimmed
  • 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, blanched
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Here are my ingredients all prepped…

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…and my hunk ‘o beef.image

Here’s what I did:

I preheated my oven to 300 F and moved the rack to the lower middle.

I dried off the roast and cut it into 2-inch chunks and seasoned them with salt and pepper.

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Then, I gathered my leeks and shallots…

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…and sautéed them over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil in a large cast iron skillet. I seasoned them with some salt and pepper and once they were softened and browned, I threw in the garlic cloves to get a little color. Then, I transferred them to a large Dutch oven.

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Next, I sautéed my mushrooms with some salt and pepper in the skillet…

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…and transferred them to the Dutch oven. I threw the celery, carrots, and parsnips (and some salt and pepper) in the skillet to brown. Since there was a lot of fond developing on the bottom of the skillet, I dumped in the can of diced tomatoes to help release it.

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I transferred the root vegetables to the Dutch oven and added the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Then, I quickly rinsed out my skillet and heated a couple more tablespoons of macadamia nut oil over medium high heat. I seared the beef cubes in four batches so the pan wasn’t overcrowded and the beef would brown properly.

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After I was done searing the beef, there was a lot of frond left on the bottom of my skillet so…

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…I added the cup of chicken broth to release the meaty browned bits, and poured it over the beef stew in the Dutch oven. If I wasn’t on the Whole30 program, I would’ve added some wine as well to deglaze the pan. I added the cider vinegar and stirred the contents of the Dutch oven…

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…and covered it with a piece of Parchment paper and the lid.

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I popped the stew in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat was nice and tender.

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I tasted for seasoning but because I had added salt and pepper at each step of the cooking process, the stew didn’t need anymore. Then, I removed the twigs and leaves and transferred the stew to a container to store in the fridge.

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In the meantime, I also blanched and squeezed dry two bunches of lacinato kale that I stored in the fridge until I was ready to reheat the stew.

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When I reheated the stew tonight, I poured all the contents back into my Dutch oven and brought it to a boil over high heat. Then, I reduced the heat to a simmer and covered it for around 20 minutes to heat throughout. Then, I added the chopped blanched kale…

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…and simmered the stew for around 5-10 more minutes.

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This stew is a keeper. Even though it was a pain to make, it was a delicious, rib-sticking meal that fed 4 adults and 2 kids and provided 4 boxes of leftovers. Plus, my older rugrat gave it a 5-star review. Awwww….

Unsuccessful Slow Cooker Experiment: Salsa Verde Grass Fed Beef Stew

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I’ve essentially stopped using my Crock-pot ever since I got my new favorite appliance. However, I love the idea of being able to throw some ingredients in the pot in the morning and magically having a completed dinner waiting for me when I wake up in the evening. (Yep, I start work again tonight. Ick.) Unfortunately, the quality of the slow cooker dinner is never guaranteed as was proven to me tonight.

This morning, I dragged my Crock-pot out of my appliance graveyard in the garage. I plugged it in and threw in 2 chopped onions, and 3 chopped carrots.

I tossed 2 pounds of grass fed “beef stew” with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and put them on top of the vegetables. I set my Crock-pot to cook on low for 8 hours.

Yes, I should have added a little liquid to the pot but in the past, I’ve always ended up with a soup (especially if I’m not using a thickening agent) and I didn’t want a soup today. When I woke up, the house smelled wonderful but my meat looked pretty dry when I peeked through the lid. Uh oh.

When I tasted the beef, some pieces were tender and delicious but others were dry and powdery. I think it was a combination of no additional liquid in the pot, too long of a cooking time, and a hodge podge of grass fed beef cuts that was both lean (dry pieces) and fatty (yummy pieces). To salvage the stew, I tossed in a cup of my sister’s homemade salsa verde and some chopped, blanched lancinato kale.

I served it with roasted cauliflower seasoned with Tabil (oven set at 400 F convection bake: roasted covered with foil for 12 minutes and then uncovered for 15-20 minutes).

Next time, I’ll make sure I cook a fatty, connective tissue laden cut of grass fed beef (which I’ll cut up myself) and add a cup of broth to the pot.