Not the usual beef stew, this one contains sweet corn and fresh rosemary. To trim prep time, substitute 1 1/2 cups peeled baby carrots (bagged in plastic at supermarket produce counters) for chunked carrots and frozen whole-kernel corn for fresh. Corn is a vegetable that freezes well and the frozen is often sweeter than what you would buy at the farmers market.
Adapted from "Falling off the Bone" by Jean Anderson.
- 2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut in 1-inch cubes
- ¾ cup unsifted all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (seasoned flour)
- 3 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and each half thinly sliced
- 1 large whole bay leaf (preferably fresh)
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon crumbled dried leaf rosemary
- 2 cups beef broth
- 6 golf-ball-size redskin potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (see tips above)
- 2 medium celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced (include a few leaves)
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen yellow corn kernels (see tips above)
Dredge beef, a few pieces at a time, by shaking in a large plastic zipper bag with seasoned flour and set aside.
Heat drippings in a large heavy Dutch oven over moderately high heat until ripples appear on pan bottom — 1 ½-2 minutes. Brown dredged beef in several batches in drippings, allowing about 10 minutes per batch and lifting each to a bowl as it browns.
Add onion, bay leaf, and rosemary to pot and sauté, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
Return beef to pot along with accumulated juices, add broth, and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so liquid bubbles gently, cover, and simmer until beef is nearly tender — about 1½ hours.
Add potatoes, carrots, and celery, and if broth seems skimpy, a little more broth or water. Cover and simmer until beef and carrots are tender, 40-45 minutes more.
Add corn, cover, and simmer just until corn no longer tastes raw and flavors mellow — about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig, taste for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed.
Ladle into heated large soup plates and serve; no accompaniments necessary for this dinner-in-a-dish.