One of the great things about stews is that the low-and-slow cooking makes even the toughest cuts of meat fork-tender. This stew calls for bottom round, a lean but tough cut of beef. Tomato paste, dry red wine, beef broth, dried thyme, a bay leaf, and an assortment of vegetables round out the dish. Since this recipe makes 8 to 10 servings, it's perfect for casual entertaining or freezing extra portions for a later date.
Real Simple MARCH 2004
Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a heavy casserole or a heavy, covered saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the casserole. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the casserole. Stir in the broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook in the casserole in a 325° F oven for 4 hours, or in the saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop over low heat for about 2 1/2 hours. In either case, stir occasionally and add up to 1 cup of additional beef broth if necessary. Add the potatoes and carrots during the last hour of cooking, and the peas just before serving.
To Freeze: Omit the peas. Let the stew cool, then ladle it into resealable freezer bags. Store for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw the stew overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, adding the peas during the last 5 minutes.
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