Cold snowy days call for long slow cooks, and warm comfort food. After 8 3/4 inches fell overnight, I felt it was time for a nice long slow smoke, time to let the UDS do the work while I did the napping. And it was a good plan…… almost too good. Fortunately I have a well seasoned son to cover me when I just can’t quite wake up from a cozy nap.
What to expect: Is there anything better than a nice warm beef stew on a cold winter’s day? This is the kind of meal that makes you just want to curl up with a blanket and watch the snow fall outside. The mesquite smoked beef plays well with a nice sweet red wine, giving it deep smoky flavors with a slightly coying sweetness. The vegetables round out the dish giving it that full robust feel and taste that you expect from beef stew.
Yield: 6 servings
What you’ll need:
Time: All day, we ain’t going to rush this. Or 3 hours for smoking, and 2 hours or more for simmering.
1 3lb boneless well marbled chuck roast
1 Tbls kosher salt
1 Tbls fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbls fresh thyme
1 Tbls fresh rosemarry
2 bay leaves
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled, large dice
4 carrots, peeled, sliced into thick rounds
4 celery stalks, large dice
1 large onion large dice
4 cups of water
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
2-3 Tbls corn starch
How we did it:
Begin by adding the 1 Tbls salt and pepper to both sides of the beef roast.
Place the all the vegetables, the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and bay leaves into a roast pan with 2 cups of water.
(A word to the wise here, to prevent smoke stains and make cleanup easier, THOROUGHLY coat the outside of the pan with nonstick spray, butter, or soap.)
Place a couple of kabob skewers or wooden spoons on top of your pan to lift the meat above the pan but allowing the juices from the meat to drip into the pan. This allows the meat to receive maximum smoke while continuing to baste the vegetables in it’s juices.
Place on grill or smoker and cook at the 250.
Pull a blanket around yourself and rest your eyes.
After about 1 1/2 hours remove your blanket, grab your coat, and check adding the other 2 cups of water if needed.
Return inside, pretend to be interested in what your wife is watching on TV, while resting your eyes. Toss in an occasional “uh-huh” and “yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”
After another 1 1/2 hours stroll out and check the meat temperature. We’re looking for something in the neighborhood of 165°-175°f. It probably won’t be super tender yet, but we don’t want to dry it out. It will get tender as it finishes in the pot.
Remove from smoker and cut into a dice that you like for beef stew.
Add the beef, 4 cups of beef broth, 1 cup of wine, and vegetables to a large stock pot.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours or until the liquid is reduced by 1/2.
* 2 hours is a minimum simmer time, as long as you keep it covered and wet it can hold about all day. But sooner or later your going to get hungry.
If the thickness is not to your liking, mix 2-3 Tbls of corn starch and with some water and add to the pot.
Enjoy with the remainder of the wine and people you love.
So, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Remember, what you cook is not nearly as important as who you cook it with.