Ah, Muskoka in the winter. There's nothing quite like it, is there? The crisp, cold air, the snow-covered trees, the sound of the ice cracking on the lake. It's a feeling that can't be beat. And what better way to enhance that feeling than by enjoying a warm and hearty stew cooked over a campfire?
Now, I know what you're thinking. "Stew? Over the campfire - in Winter? That sounds about as appetizing as a frozen burrito." But trust us, my fellow Muskoka enthusiasts, this is not your average stew recipe, and you know you actually have to get outdoors to enjoy the outdoors!! This is the ultimate Dutch oven stew recipe that will elevate your outdoor cooking game to new heights. But it's not just about the food, it's also about the experience. It's about being outside, surrounded by nature, and creating an elevated experience. This stew recipe is the perfect way to warm up and have some winter adventures.
First things first, let's talk about the ingredients. When it comes to this recipe, quality is key. You'll want to use a full-bodied red wine, such as a good quality Cabernet. And don't skimp on the beef or veal stock - homemade is always best - although store bought will do. The same goes for the stew meat - use the best quality you can find, such as beef chuck or short rib. And don't forget the fresh thyme and rosemary for garnish - they'll add an extra layer of flavour that will take this stew to the next level.
- 2 cups of a full-bodied red wine
- 2 cups of beef or veal stock, preferably homemade
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups of finely diced carrots
- 2 cups of potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup of finely chopped celery
- 1 cup of Mushrooms (halved, quartered or left full - depending on the size)
- 1 cup of finely diced onion
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 lb of the best quality stew meat you can find, such as beef chuck or short rib
- 2 tbsp of high-quality olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh thyme and rosemary for garnish
Let's get started on this mouth-watering masterpiece:
Before you actually begin the cooking, you'll want to set up your campfire and get it nice and hot. While you're waiting for the fire to get to the perfect cooking temperature, you can prep your ingredients. Trust me, you don't want to be chopping vegetables with numb fingers. So, you'll likely want to do your chopping and prepping ahead of time - indoors.
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of cooking this delicious stew over the campfire. Start by heating the olive oil in your Dutch oven until hot. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and stewing meat and cook until it is nicely browned on all sides.
As the meat is cooking, you'll start to get that mouth-watering aroma of beef and onions sizzling in the pot. It's a feeling that will make your stomach grumble with anticipation. You'll know that you're in for a real treat.
- Start by heating the olive oil in your Dutch oven over the campfire until hot.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and stew meat to the Dutch oven and cook until the meat is nicely browned on all sides.
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes and cook and stir for 2 minutes
- Pour in the red wine and beef or veal stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, celery and mushroom to the pot, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the Dutch oven and let the stew simmer over the campfire for about an hour and a half, or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through.
- Once the stew is ready, remove it from the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Finally, garnish the stew with fresh thyme and rosemary before serving.
While the stew is simmering, you'll start to get that delicious aroma of red wine, beef and vegetables wafting through the air. It's a feeling that will make you want to curl up in your favourite Pure Muskoka clothing, with a warm cup of cocoa and watch the snow fall.
Serve this stew with a hunk of crusty bread to mop up all the rich and flavourful sauce. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for it. This recipe will be a surefire hit and the envy of the of your friends and family.
So, next time you're looking to get outside in Muskoka in the winter, bring along this Dutch oven stew recipe and make it a great experience.