Yes, it was 90 something degrees yesterday and hot! But my youngest came home from her horseback riding not feeling well and said beef stew sounded really good to her if there was any way I could make that for dinner! At first I said no, thinking of stew cooking for hours and hours, but then I thought well I could at least do a quick dish of something similar to stew if I had some beef in the freezer. I found one last small piece of tri tip, just about 10 ounces. And I had carrots and potatoes of course, and frozen peas… I have been watching Jacques Pepin again and pulled out Fast Food My Way, which has a recipe called “Instant Beef Tenderloin Stew.” I used the tri tip and it came out fantastic! The potatoes were some tri-colored small potatoes from the farmer’s market, which made it quite pretty I think!
Pepin has you cook the vegetables in one skillet and cook the beef, quickly, in another and then combine them. This let the potatoes and carrots get browned a bit on the outside so they had a lovely flavor and texture. His original recipe called for mushrooms, but I had none. He also suggests a pound of beef tenderloin but of course any tender cut of beef can work. Just don’t use “stew meat” as I see things labeled as it does need the long cooking time. I had less than a pound so cut back on the potatoes a bit but used about the same amount of everything else.
Quick Beef Stew
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1 1/2 cups half-inch diced potatoes, rinsed under cold water
- 1 cup baby carrots (I sliced mine in half as they were a bit thick)
- 1 cup small white button mushrooms if you have some
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 Tbs chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup peas
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound tender beef, cut in 1″ pieces
- 2 Tbs dry white wine
- 2 Tbs chicken broth
Heat 1 Tbs of butter and the oil over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to hold the vegetables in a single layer. Add the potatoes and carrots (and mushrooms if using). Cook partially covered, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are browned a bit on the outside and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook another couple of minutes, then add the garlic, peas and some salt and pepper. Stir it all together and cook another minute, then take it off the heat and set it aside, covered to keep warm.
In a second skillet, heat the other tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. While it’s heating, salt and pepper the beef cubes, then add to the pan, again in a single layer so everything gets to the pan. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes or so, just until the beef is browned and done to your liking. Put the beef in a serving dish.
Pour the wine and broth into the pan you cooked the beef and deglaze, stirring to scrape up any bits. Boil for just half a minute or less. Add the vegetables to the beef and stir to mix, then pour the sauce over it all.