From Chris Carollo
[Ed: Chris, whose working on developing a not-for-profit community-supported kitchen in Chicago, brought this savory stew on March 3. “There are a thousand ways to make beef stew,” he says, simply. “This is one of them.”]
Ingredients1-2 pounds stew meat 1-2 medium onions 3-4 medium carrots 5-6 stalks celery 1-2 medium/small beets 1- 1/2 quarts chicken stock 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour sea salt and pepper (both black and white) to taste 1 cup palm oil, olive oil, or other safe high-temp fat
Preheat oven to 350. Put stock in heavy roasting pan and allow to come up to temp.
Cut meat and veggies into similarly bite-sized pieces, 3/4 to 1” cubes. Consistency is more important than size. Longer cooking veggies can be a bit smaller.
Pat dry meat, dredge in flour mixed with a little salt and black pepper.
Get about 1/4” deep fat quite hot in a skillet and proceed to sear onions. When done put into roasting pan. Repeat with remaining veggies, replacing fat in pan as it decreases.
Increase fat to 3/8” and sear meat by placing in pan quickly and carefully with tongs. Working quickly, turn to brown all sides evenly. When done, remove from skillet and place in roasting pan.
Reduce heat to 200, braise overnight or at least 6 hours, being certain to keep liquid covering ingredients by adding more stock or water occasionally. Gently stir occasionally.
When done (checking meat tenderness) drain off ¾ of the stock into a separate pot and begin to thicken on stove top at high heat.
Prepare a roux with 2 tablespoons of the remaining flour and more fat (butter can be safely used here), after stock has reduced by about 1/3, thicken with roux, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet. When this is adequately thick, combine with the remaining ingredients. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and serve.