It is important to build a flavor foundation by combining the meat and other aromatic ingredients. The brown bits in the bottom of the pan, when scraped adds a flavorful complexity to the stew.
Adding another flavorful addition like wine to the pan helps to concentrate the flavor.
Your result: A bowl of deep flavored, healthy, hearty stew.
Italian Beef Stew
Recipe from Cooking Light
7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup dry red wine (note: don't use wine that you would not enjoy drinking yourself)
3-3/4 cups chopped seeded peeled plum tomato (about 2 pounds)
1-1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium beef broth
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1(8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, quartered
3/4 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and chopped carrot; saute 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; saute for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add half of beef to pan; saute 6 minutes, browning all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure.
3. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes). return meat and the onion mixture to pan. Add tomato and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, and stir in sliced carrot. Simmer uncovered, for 1-hour or until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil and parsley.