The past week's chilly weather was a good motivation to turn on the oven for a slow-simmered stew filled with the latest offerings from our Open Oak Farm's Winter Vegetable CSA. For inspiration I started with Jool's Favorite Beef Stew from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners, which uses chunks of winter squash that bake into a rich, sweet broth.
Instead of carrots and onions, I used our supply of parsnips and leeks from Open Oak Farm. With this combination of pale tubers and alliums I decided to experiment with a lighter sauce than Oliver's red wine and tomato paste one, substituting instead a dry Riesling.
Three hours in the oven produced a fragrant, flavorful stew, delicious with Open Oak Farm's fresh fingerling potatoes, that helped take the chill out of the air.
Parsnip and Riesling Beef Stew3 leeks, cleaned, sliced lengthwise, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped roughly into 1 inch chunks
1 small delicata squash, peeled, deseeded, and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 sages leaves, finely chopped
1 lb cubed beef stew meat
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup broth
1/2 bottle dry Riesling
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Prep all the vegetables. Toss the meat in the flour and plenty of salt and pepper.
2. Heat a large oven-save Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and anchovies and simmer for a minute, mashing up the anchovies. Add the garlic and sage leaves and stir another minute. Add the leaks and saute for about five minutes, until softened. Add the meat and saute for a minute (Oliver says you don't need to brown the meat for this stew), then add the remaining vegetables, the broth and the white wine. Bring the pot to a simmer. Then cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and falls apart when you poke it with a fork. You can keep the stew warm in a 150 degree oven for another hour or so.
3. Serve warm, garnished with fresh chopped parsley leaves and lemon zest, accompanied by fresh potatoes, egg noodles, orzo, or soft polenta.