Serves 6, 30 minutes preparation, 3 ½ hours cookingThis classic beef stew is loaded with carrots, parsnips, and potatoes but also has a surprisingly nice little zing from the horseradish and parsley. Perfect for the cold winter months.
- 3 lb. boneless beef shoulder roast, chuck roast, or top blade, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch pieces
- 2 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 Tbs. grapeseed oil or vegetable oil; more as needed
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2-1/2 cups homemade or lower-salt store-bought beef broth
- 2 cups parsnip pieces (halve lengthwise, core, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups carrot pieces (1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups halved small red potatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbs. drained prepared horseradish
- Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit/160 Celsius.
- Spread the beef on paper towels to dry for 10 to 20 minutes before browning. (You can use this time to chop the onion, celery, and carrot). If the meat is very wet, pat it dry.
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, cook the bacon in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned but not crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the pan.
- Heat the bacon fat over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season about one-third of the beef with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the pot (there should be at least 1/2 inch of space between the pieces). Brown well on at least 4 sides, adjusting the heat as necessary; each batch should take about 10 minutes to brown. Transfer the beef to a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet as it browns and repeat with the rest of the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper before browning. Once all of the beef is browned, remove the pot from the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.
- Pour all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. (If there is not enough, add oil to equal 2 Tbs.) Return the pot to medium heat, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot.
- Add the wine, stirring with the wooden spatula to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by about half, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the beef broth and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil.
- Return the beef to the pot along with any accumulated juice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer.
- Crumple a 12x16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out. (Crumpling makes for easy handling.) Place the parchment directly on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover and put in the oven.
- After 1 hour of stewing, add the parsnips, carrot pieces, and potatoes to the pot. Cover with the parchment and lid, and cook until the beef is fork-tender, 1 to 2 hours more. (Shoulder cuts will take longer than leg cuts.)
- Stir in the parsley and horseradish. Degrease the stew by laying a clean paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peeling it off. Repeat as necessary with more paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.