I can’t seem to get rid of the carrots and celery in my fridge. As I get ready for my big trip to Paris and San Sebastian this year, I need to clear the fridge to avoid as much food waste as possible. What else can I do with carrots and celery besides mirepoix for stews and soups? It’s been raining all week anyway and the sleepy weather calls for a spring stew that’s hearty at the same time.
Chuck is the meat from around the shoulder of the cow; it’s a relatively cheap cut with good flavor and lots of connective tissue and fat, making it a very appealing choice for this stew. I had everything else in my pantry except the meat, but because I didn’t want to overbuy, I opted for loose beef chuck from my neighborhood butcher. Instead of buying them weighed and packaged from the supermarket, I asked for 5 2-inch pieces so that I just had enough for 3 servings.
1/2-lb of beef chuck, about 5 pieces of 2-inch cuts
1 small shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
a small knob of Parmesan and its rind
1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained
1 box of chicken broth
2 scallions, chopped
a handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 can of water chestnuts, washed and drained
alfalfa sprouts, for garnish
oil, salt, pepper
1. In a deep skillet, heat some oil. Season beef pieces with salt and pepper, then add to pot to brown all sides.
2. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the celery and the cheese and keep sautéing until flavors meld.
3. Add the chickpeas and enough broth to cover the beef halfway. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, checking often to make sure that it’s not drying up. When the sauce thickens before the beef is cooked through, add just enough broth to keep cooking the meat.
4. When the beef is easy to pull apart with a knife and fork, fold in the scallions and parsley to combine. Add a little more broth if necessary. You don’t want it to be too soupy, but you also don’t want it to be too thick. The cheese should be holding up the dish’s saltiness and umami flavor.
5. Turn off the heat and add the water chestnuts. Mix to warm them with the rest of the stew. Ladle in a shallow bowl and top with alfalfa sprouts.
This Cuisinart 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan is deep enough for stews like this