Rachael Ray's Autumn Beef Stew With Apple, Onion and Roasted Garlic

This dish is Rachael Ray's go-to holiday recipe and an updated version of her mom's Cider Beef, a personal childhood favorite. When you're expecting company, opt for this foolproof dish. You won't have to worry about overcooking the meat or hovering over the stove so you can spend more time with your friends and family.

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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • EVOO - extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 lb bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 1/2-3 lbs beef chuck
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 carrots, sliced in 2 inch chunks
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2-2 1/2 cups cloudy organic apple cider
  • 2 can beef consumme
  • 2 1/2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 large parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • freshly nutmeg
  • herb bouquet
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut ends of garlic bulbs to expose cloves. Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and roast to tender, 40-45 minutes. Remove garlic and reduce heat to 350°F.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon then remove and reserve. Pour off some of the fat out of the pan and add a couple of tablespoons butter.

Pat meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and add to hot pot in batches. Cook to crispy and deep brown. Add more butter as needed, 2 tablespoons at a time. Reserve browned meat with the bacon.

Add carrot, apple, celery, onion, bay, salt and pepper to the pot and partially cover. Cook to soften vegetables for a few minutes then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Stir a minute then add cider, consommé, the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Add reserved beef, bacon and herb bouquet to pan, bring to a boil then cover and transfer to oven. Braise meat for 2 hours, until very tender and the sauce has thickened. Let stand 20 minutes while you cook potatoes.

Boil potatoes and parsnips in salted water until tender. Drain and return to hot pot; mash with 2 tablespoons butter, cheese and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir in chives.

Serve stew in shallow bowls with potatoes alongside.