Does anyone else ever run into cooking challenges when their husband or kids say they don’t like a critical ingredient in a recipe?  When I first started cooking for my husband, onions were a big no-no in the kitchen.  I know lots of other families deal with the same thing.  Today, I’ll share one of my secret ingredients that gives you onion flavor, but are easily picked out if necessary.

Hearty Beef Stew

The pearl onion.  You can buy them in a bag from the produce area, but I actually prefer the ones frozen.  If you buy them fresh, you have to peel them.  Trust me when I say this takes way longer than you think it should.  I finally learned my lesson and found them already peeled and frozen.  Most recipes call for onions to be sautéed so I just toss them in frozen and they warm up super fast. Make sure you buy plain onions, not the ones in a sauce if you are using them for a recipe.

Sautéed pearl onions

In my favorite beef stew recipe, I use pearl onions. The stew gets the onion flavor it needs, but I can pick onions out of my husband’s bowl if I need too.  I made it again this weekend and I left them in everyone’s bowl.  My husband actually liked them!  Funny how tastes change.

(click on the pictures to scroll through the album)

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe
(stove top)
2 lb sirloin strips cut into 1″ cubes
kosher salt and pepper
4 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
8 oz pearl onions
2 1/4 cups beef stock (I used two cans low sodium stock)
1 can whole plum tomatoes, drained and seeds removed
5 carrots peeled, cut into 1″ pieces
8 oz white buttom mushrooms quartered
5 small boiling potatoes quartered

1. Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper. Dredge (or roll) meat in flour.
2. In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add meat in a single layer and brown on all sides.  Remove meat and transfer to a bowl.
3. Add 1/3 cup of wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping up the brown bits.  Pour over meat. Repeat with additional meat if needed.
4. Add remaining olive oil, add onions and cook until golden all over. (3 minutes, even when they go in  frozen)
5. Deglaze pan with remaining wine, add back reserved beef and liquid. Add stock, tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 1/3 hours.
6. Add carrots, mushroom, and potatoes and cook 45-50 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 6.
{adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe}

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