Easy Beef Stew for Two
It’s cold out today! When it’s cold out I immediately think of warm, comforting food and this super easy full-bodied stew is perfect for cold days! This red wine-braised beef stew is the ultimate one-pot meal, loaded with tender potatoes and carrots. Don’t forget a loaf of crusty French bread for sopping up the rich sauce.
Many stew recipes call for cooking the meat and vegetables at the same time, leaving the vegetables overcooked and mushy. Instead, first braise the meat with onions in red wine and beef broth until a rich sauce develops. Then, after about an hour, add carrots, and potatoes. By the time the vegetables are cooked, the beef will be tender, then just stir in some peas if you like, for a little freshness and color. I sprinkle a little fresh parsley in at the end. You can also spoon the stew over buttered egg noodles. YUMMY!
- 1 pound beef stew meat or boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste (freeze leftover tomato paste in a ziploc bag)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 3/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium ovensafe saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown beef on all sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to bowl.
- Add onion to fat left in saucepan and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in broth, bay leaf, and browned beef with any accumulated juices and bring to simmer. Cover, transfer saucepan to oven, and cook for 1 hour.
- Stir in potato and carrots and continue to cook in oven, covered, until beef and vegetables are tender, 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- Discard bay leaf. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew, if needed.
- Stir in peas and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up!
- Serve with crusty bread or over buttered egg noodles.
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry for Two
I have to admit…we eat Chinese take-out a lot! It’s just too easy because they are literally right down the street! I’m really not a fan of any of the beef take-out dishes though, the beef is usually tough and kinda chewy…ewww. Not my favorite! I have been on the look-out for the BEST beef and broccoli recipe and I found it! You just won’t believe you made something so good when you try this one. Take-out can’t match this, no way, no how!
When I first started thinking about posting this recipe I thought to cut it in half but if you love this as much as we do, there might not be any leftovers, so I decided to keep it as is.
You’re going to want to have everything prepped before you start this recipe because once you start it goes fast! Do yourself a favor and put your steak in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing it, it will be much easier to slice partially frozen. Slice up the partially frozen beef in thin strips and put it in a bowl with the soy sauce and put it in the fridge for an hour, don’t forget to stir it once. In the meantime you can chop the red pepper and mince the garlic and ginger. I just put my garlic and ginger in the food processor. Put the garlic and ginger in a small bowl and add the sesame oil and set aside.
Next you’ll need to drain the beef and get your pan ready by adding 1 1/2 tsps of the peanut oil. Make sure the oil is smoking before adding half the beef, you’re doing this in two batches. Once you add the beef just quickly make sure each piece is touching the pan and not on top of other pieces and don’t touch them for one minute so they start to develop that nice browned color, then stir the meat and cook for only 30 seconds more. You might feel like the meat isn’t done but trust me…it will keep cooking after you take it off…don’t cook it longer. Put it in a bowl and do the next batch the same way, adding 1 1/2 tsp peaunt oil before adding that next batch of beef strips. Add this beef to the rest in the bowl and set this aside. Once you’ve done that add a Tbsp of peanut oil to your now empty pan and heat just until starting to smoke. Add the broccoli and cook for 30 seconds only. Add 1/3 cup of water, cover the pan and steam the broccoli for 2 minutes on medium heat. Transfer the broccoli to a paper towel lined plate. Our goal here is to keep the broccoli nice and green and still crunchy. Nothing worse than limp broccoli in your beef and broccoli! Next you’ll add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil to the pan and then add the red peppers. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the ginger and garlic mixture to the middle of the pan and cook for 20 seconds or until fragrant, then stir into the red peppers to combine. Add the beef and broccoli back into the pan, re-whisk the sauce and add it to the pan, tossing until everything is hot. Serve this with white or brown rice and maybe some hot tea would make it especially authentic!
- 1 pound skirt steak, slice across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 6 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 pounds broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 medium scallions, sliced 1/2-inch thick on diagonal (optional)
- Combine beef and soy sauce in medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, whisk sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in bowl.
- Combine garlic, ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in a different bowl.
- Drain beef and discard liquid.
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking.
- Add half of beef to skillet and break up clumps; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer beef to medium bowl.
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in skillet, and repeat with remaining beef.
- Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to now-empty skillet; heat until just smoking.
- Add broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towel–lined plate.
- Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil to skillet; increase heat to high and heat until just smoking.
- Add bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Clear center of skillet; add garlic and ginger to center and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir mixture into peppers.
- Return beef and broccoli to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with scallions if you like, I only do that if I have them on hand already.