Sure, you’ve had beef stew, but not like this. Sweet and savory. Rich and tomato-free. Unexpectedly herbal.
Around these parts (i.e. our house), we call it “Brother-in-Law Stew.” Ryan first concocted it at my sister’s house for her, my parents, and my brother-in-law. Thus the name. But you can call it…
Beef Stew With Gnocchi
Ingredients for beef stew:
- 1 c flour
- 1 t ground clove
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t ground pepper
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 # beef, cubed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 c merlot
- 8 c beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 or 2 10-oz bags of frozen peas with pearl onions (this and the merlot are the secret ingredients)
- 1/2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Ingredients for gnocchi:
- 1 or 2 potatoes, boiled and smashed
- flour (1 c per 3# of potatoes)
- 1 egg, beaten
Directions for beef stew:
- Mix the first five dry ingredients and coat meat cubes with the mix.
- Brown meat in the bottom of your stock pot, drain the fat, and set meat aside.
- And chopped onions to the pot and pan fry until onions begin to soften.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients (except rosemary), bring to a boil, and simmer until it reaches your desired thickness (30-60 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add the rosemary 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with homemade gnocchi (see below).
Directions for gnocchi:
- Mash together the potatoes and egg.
- Add flour bit by bit until it’s the right consistency (just after it stops being starchy and sticky).
- Kneed the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into 1/2-inch strips.
- Cut each strip into 1-inch-long pieces.
- Periodically flouring your hands, roll each piece between your palms to create elongated balls tapered at both ends.
- Drop the pieces into boiling water and remove them 1-2 minutes after they begin to float.
- Serve under, on top of, or mixed in with the beef stew.
To freeze and eat later:
- Prepare both.
- Freeze stew and gnocchi separately.
- Mix together.
- Pan heat.