Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Vegetables , Preserved Lemons & Olives

Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Veg, Preserved Lemons & Olives

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Roasting time: 25 minutes for vegetables
Roasting time: 2 ½ to 3 hours for stew

Serves 4-6

Roasted Vegetables
2 cups leeks, white & light green parts only, well rinsed & dried, cut into 2” pieces
2 cups carrots, peeled, cut into 2” pieces on an angle
1 cup parsnip, peeled, cut into 2” pieces on an angle
½ small rutabaga/turnip, peeled and cut into 2” cubes
½ medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2” cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Salt & pepper

2 tbsp olive oil
2 -3 lb/ 1- 1½ kg chuck or stewing beef cut into 2” cubes
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1-2 tbsp flour
3 large cloves garlic , minced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, cut in half or quarters, depending on the size (should be same size as other vegetables)
1 cup red wine (preferably full-bodied)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned whole tomatoes, with their juice, crushed
2 tbsp fine fresh orange zest (from 1 large orange)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 cup cured back olives (such as Kalamata), pitted & coarsely chopped
1-2 pieces of preserved lemon rind (rinse well and remove the pulp), coarsely chopped
Fresh flat leaf/Italian parsley, finely chopped (garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet or two with foil for easy cleanup.

2. In the meantime, toss all the vegetables set for roasting along with oil, herbs and salt & pepper in a large bowl. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheets. If there are too many, do it on two sheets. If the vegetables are too closely packed they will steam rather than caramelize.

3. While the vegetables are roasting for about 20-30 minutes (they should be golden and slightly under cooked. Remember that they will be cooking with the stew for a couple of hours), toss the beef with flour, salt & pepper in a zip lock baggie until well coated.

4. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven (I like to use my ceramic coated cast iron – perfect for cooking and for serving) over medium high heat. Add coated beef to pot in two or three separate batches. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding remaining tablespoon of oil if needed. Remove meat and set aside.

5. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms turn golden. Add the garlic for a few seconds (just until you get a whiff of that wonderful aroma). Deglaze the pot with the wine (use a wooden spoon to get all the brown bits off the bottom) then add the broth and the rest of the ingredients. Stir for a few minutes to warm everything up. Add the beef and any juices. Toss and roast, covered for at least 2 hours. The beef should be very tender.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

It’s great served over rice, pasta or my favorite – mashed potatoes to sop up all that gravy. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.