A Year of Picnics (Roost Books, 2016) by Ashley English presents everything you need to picnic through all four seasons, with over 70 picnic-perfect recipes, tips on selecting your location, advice for packing your basket, and creative ideas for outdoor activities.
Mushroom Beef Stew
Mushrooms are another edible food often viewed in wooded areas. I call for crimini or oyster mushrooms here for a more robust flavor, but if those can’t be sourced, button mushrooms will work, too. Rendered into a hearty beef stew, they make exactly the kind of fare you want filling your belly when the day calls for forest frolicking!
- 2 pounds grass-fed beef stew meat
- 1⁄4 cup high-heat oil of your choice, such as peanut or olive
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 carrots, cut in 1⁄8-inch slices
- 3 stalks of celery, cut into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as crimini and oyster, sliced
- 1 quart beef stock
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, brown the meat in 2 tablespoons of the oil for about 8 minutes. Transfer the meat and any pan juices into a bowl and set aside.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for about 15 minutes, until they are fragrant and browned at the edges.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 more minutes, until their liquid has cooked off.
- Add the browned meat and pan juices, stock, wine, thyme, and salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Be extra careful for the second half of cooking, making sure it does not scorch at the bottom of the pan. If the liquid evaporates too early, you can add extra stock.
- Season with additional salt if needed. Stir in the parsley, and then remove from the heat.
- Allow the stew to cool for 15 to 20 minutes then serve, or store in a lidded container in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
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From A Year of Picnics by Ashley English © 2017 by Ashley English. Photographs © 2017 by Jen Altman. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.roostbooks.com