Zesty Apricot Beef Stew
You gotta love a meal that comes together in one pot and while it's simmering away makes your kitchen smell like heaven. This no-fuss beef stew is probably one of the tastiest I've ever made. The addition of Dijon mustard, wine and dried apricots is absolutely transformative -- the trio makes the dish sweet and tangy and rich, all at the same time. And talk about easy: Even with chopping, the stew took about only 10 minutes to prepare.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 large garlic clove, minced
14-ounce can beef broth
1 cup dry red wine or cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried apricot halves
2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups sliced carrots (3 large)
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups medium noodles, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian parsley
In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add meat; cook until brown. Add onion; cook about 4 minutes more or until just tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute more. Add broth, wine, 11/2 cups water, apricot halves, mustard, thyme and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Stir in carrots. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes more or until meat and carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup water and flour until smooth. Stir into stew; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more.
Serve over cooked noodles, sprinkled with snipped parsley.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
-- "Better Homes and Gardens: The Ultimate Soups & Stews Book" (Wiley, 2013, $19.99)