November 18, 2015

Beef Stew with Pearl Couscous

Two savory recipes in a row on my blog. Two recipes that are essentially beef stew on my blog. I guess weirder things could happen.

This version from How Sweet It Is gets the nod of appreciation for the technique of cooking the roast. Regardless of whether I make this stew again, I need to cook a roast in this manner and devour it. I'm certain my 4-year-old and I could have eaten nearly the entire roast if we tried (or showed a lack of self control). So note to my future self who forgets about this: buy beef, and cook it this way.

Oh, and the stew was tasty. And I miraculously got both my boys to eat bowls of it. (I added a few potatoes and carrots and eliminated the squash from the original version.)

Beef Stew with Pearl Couscous
3 lbs. beef chuck roast
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup pumpkin beer
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups low-sodium beef stock
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cups cold water
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Season the roast with the salt and the pepper evenly (adding a bit more if needed). Place olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in the skillet. Add the roast, and sear on all sides until golden brown. Reduce the heat, and pour in the beer. Cover the pot, and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 hours, turning once or twice, until the beef is falling apart. Keep an eye on the beef, and add more liquid if you need it. You want the liquid to be slightly simmering the entire time.

When the roast is falling apart, transfer it to a large bowl with the remaining liquid in the pot. Set the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are slightly soft, another 5 minutes. Add in the nutmeg, shredded beef (and liquid), stock and herbs to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just softened.

Combine the flour and water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the stew, and stir well. Increase the heat a bit until the stew is simmering. Let it cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season additionally if needed. 15 minutes before serving, stir in the pearl couscous. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes, just until the couscous softens. Serve with freshly chopped herbs on top. Serves 6.

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