Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms and next 4 ingredients (mushrooms through garlic) to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return beef to pan. Stir in water and next 6 ingredients (water through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Stir in olives, and cook for 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in vinegar. Sprinkle with parsley.
Followed the directions with the exception of: used steak instead of "stew meat" - cooks faster and so tender; dredged steak pieces in flower with salt and pepper; seared steak in olive oil; deglazed pan with red wine; used just one can of stewed tomatoes; used vegetable stock instead of water (would have used beef, but none on hand). Wasn't sure about the olives, but family loved it. ABSOLUTELY LOVED serving with mashed potatoes (used pre-made and added horseradish). My 14 year-old son had 3 servings. Definite keeper.
This stew is a bit "sweet" by itself, but is awesome when served with the Creamy Mashed Potatoes from the same Jan/Feb 2004 issue. The potatoes have prepared horseradish in them, which provides a nice balance of flavor for the stew.
This is our favourite beef stew recipe. They broth is so incredibly flavourful. It should be noted that the broth is very light and not thick as it is in gravy-type stews, but I still love it. I usually make it without olives (my husband doesn't like them), and I often add potatoes when we plan to eat it without bread. I've never served it over mashed potatoes as per the suggestion.
Truly outstanding! One of my favorite recipes and often serve it when I'm looking for an excellent and slightly less formal meal for special guests. I usually reserve toe olive brine and use some of it in the stew. Does rely on a good mashed potato and seems to work best wit a Yukon Gold based one.
I was very disappointed in this recipe especially after it received such outstanding reviews from so many cooks. I served this recipe to new neighbors who had not eaten at our house previously. What a mistake! Normally if a receipe has received such outstanding reviews, serving to guests without trying it first is not a problem but not in the case. While the stew was okay but neither outstanding nor something I would serve to guests or even my family again as I have other receipes for beef stew which are easier to prepare and tastier. I did, however, like the horseradish mashed potatoes with which the recipe was paired.
I have made this recipe several times for groups. For dinner parties, beginning with appetizers and wine, it feeds more than 6--generously. I like it as is, but I like it better with double the mushrooms, double the beef, (dredged in flour and browned, as some others have suggested) and not quite as much liquid from the stewed tomatoes. On a cold night especially, people lap it up. I'm sure it would taste good over other starches, but I love the mashed potatoes. I think that's what keeps me coming back to this recipe.
I took the recommendation from the raters and made this recipe last night. Liked the Italian spin on an old favorite. Served it with organic multigrain garlic bread. Pre-prepped all the veggies, increasing all of them. Will add either peas or frozen artichokes (Mark's suggestion) in the last 30 minutes next time. We like a thickened sauce so I used a cornstarch slurry at the end and got the consistency we wanted.
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