This week has been a bear. We’ve dealt with illnesses, doing taxes, more illnesses, a lot of driving to places we didn’t really feel like going, and just general displeasure in our household. So it’s Friday, and I look back on the week and I see that I only actually cooked two times. Pretty miserable week, if you ask me. But this beef and mushroom stew? No, that’s not miserable. That’s quite homey, actually.
This weather has been so wacky. It will be 80 degrees one day, 55 the next day, and you never can quite tell when it’s going to rain. But this stew worked well on one of the chillier, rainier days of the week.
Beef & Mushroom Stew
2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 bottle lager
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cups spinach
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the stew meat and brown on both sides; remove from the pan. Add the onions (and a little extra oil, if need be) and mushrooms and saute. Return the meat to the pan, along with the tomato sauce, lager, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and paprika.
Remove the pot from the stove and place it into the preheated oven. Let it cook for about two hours, or until the meat is tender. Return it to medium heat on the stove and add the spinach, letting it wilt.
Adjust the consistency, if desired, by creating a cornstarch slurry and adding it. I found that the consistency was just right, though.