We’re in upstate New York for this vacation week and the snow is falling. It started falling last night, actually, as we sat by the fire reading Chiara to sleep with her favorite Rainbow Magic fairy book series.
This bright blanket of snow means three things to my family: sledding, hot chocolate and beef stew. While we’re outside playing, the beef will quietly braise in the rosemary broth until it’s deliciously tender. Then, in the last 20 minutes of cooking, I’ll top my stew with tater tots to complete our hearty meat-and-potatoes meal.
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ cup white wine or water
2 cups beef or chicken broth
One 1½-pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
4 cups gluten-free frozen potato puffs, such as Ore-Ida Tater Tots
- Preheat the oven to 325 °. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then toss with the flour blend to coat. In a wide, shallow, flameproof casserole, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining beef and olive oil.
- Add the onion, rosemary, bay leaf and paprika to the pot and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in the beef broth, return the meat and any juices to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake until nearly tender, about 1 ½ hours.
- Add the squash to the stew, cover and bake until tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to 425 ° and cover with the frozen potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until the top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes.