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Easy Beef and Leek Stew in Chive Popovers

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

I quickly put together this stew one evening before I left the house for a meeting, leaving my husband and son home to stir and eventually enjoy it for dinner. I arrived home to find all kinds of notes on my scribbled recipe, including “Really tasted good” and “Gravy was nice and rich,” but alas there was no stew. The two of them had eaten every bit of it and I had to test it again. It goes very well in the popovers (like having gravy on Yorkshire Pudding), but you can enjoy it with crusty bread instead if you like. Popovers are really easy to make. I remember my daughter, Anne, making them often for breakfast when she was a child. You can, of course, substitute other herbs for the chives, or leave them out altogether.

NotesIf you wish to make and serve the popovers as a breakfast treat, just leave out the chives and pass butter and your favorite jam or honey with the hot popovers.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodbaking, braising, stewing

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationhalal, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Texturebubbly, herby, meaty, rich, salty, savory, umami

Ingredients

  • 1¼ lb (625 g) stew beef
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
  • 4 small leeks, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 2½ cups (625 mL) beef stock
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sun-dried tomato strips
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • Chive Popovers (recipe follows)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) snipped fresh chives or green onions
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt

Instructions

  1. Cut beef into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown beef all over, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add leeks and carrots; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with flour, and salt and pepper to taste; cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Stir in vinegar, then stock, 1 cup (250 mL) water, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and hot pepper flakes; bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning. Split open popovers and serve stew on top.

  4. For the Chive Popovers:

  5. In large bowl, beat eggs; stir in milk, flour, chives and salt until blended. (Don’t overmix; ignore a few lumps.) Fill 12 well-greased muffin cups three-quarters full with batter.

  6. Place in cold oven. Turn oven to 450°F (230°C); bake for 25 minutes. Remove and prick each popover with point of sharp knife to release steam. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. (Popovers can be cooled, placed on cookie sheet, covered with clean towel and set aside at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Reheat in 350°F/180°C oven for 5 to 10 minutes.)

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