Two of my favorite comfort foods are risotto and mashed potatoes, both which I’ve had this week for dinner – yum! Yesterday’s snow/rain/sleet storm left me wanting something warm and comforting for dinner so at lunch I started up the crockpot. Bacon & Sage Beef stew over mashed potoates was what was in store for my family for dinner. Everytime I make this recipe I get a bunch of requests for it, and I can’t blame anyone because this is a kick-ass stew. Actually I’d venture to say it is one of my top 10 favorite meals. I’m not a beef stew fan, but this recipe with the herbatious sage flavor, and bacon – because who doesn’t love bacon?! is the best I’ve had. The orginal recipe was created by Anne Mahle and ran in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Ingredient column a few years ago. I’ve made my own adjustments and at this point, I’m not sure it can get any better. The next gray, snowy, cold day we have, make this and I can almost guarantee you will feel all warm and cozy inside.
Bacon & Sage Beef Stew
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat
6 strips bacon- rendered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock (if you want the stew with less juice and more of a hearty chunky sauce only use 1 cup)
1 large sage springs, tied together with a string
In a large bowl combine the first four ingredients.
Fully coat stew meat with the mixture.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over med-high heat.
Carefully add meat and brown- about 20 minutes; 10 minutes in add the onions
Meanwhile render bacon and remove from fat.
When stew meat is browned, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add bacon, red wine, beef stock, and sage spring and stir.
Transfer everything to your crock pot and add carrots.
Set on low if you have 8 hours or on high if you have 4 hours.
Serve your stew over mashed potatoes.