Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.
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This dish can be cooked entirely on the stovetop, but I'm of the opinion that starting it on the stove and finishing it in the oven yields better results. The heat is more even and easier to regulate, plus there's no stirring required. If you prefer to cook the dish on the stovetop, bring the combined ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat to low and follow the same procedures and time frame. Just be sure to stir it from time to time to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan.
The most time consuming part of making beef stew is searing the meat, but you can't skimp out on the process since the browning helps develop deep, rich flavor. Bypass the step and you end up with boiled meat and a far less indulgent base. What's more, incorporating citrus peel along with the thyme and bay leaves makes a world of difference.
When choosing potatoes, I like multicolored ones, if for no other reason than they're prettier. The biggest thing to remember is you want them to be the same size so they cook evenly. Feel free to add pearl onions if you want, but I simply quarter a regular onion and let it get tender and melty while the dish cooks.
When finished with a dollop of lemony, fresh horseradish-chive cream, this hefty stew somehow feels lighter and brighter.
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About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.