This ain’t the Betty Crocker casserole you’re used to. Instead, this higher-end version combines tender beef, tangy green tomatoes, and fluffy Sweet Potato Biscuits. It may take slightly more work than the Betty Crocker recipe, but it’s well worth it.
Special equipment: Having a 3-1/2- or 5-quart Le Creuset buffet casserole is ideal for doing this as a one-pot dish; otherwise prepare the stew in a large Dutch oven, then transfer it to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish for the biscuit-baking stage.
This recipe was featured as part of our Casseroles, Revisited story.
- Yield: 8 servings
- Difficulty: Hard
- Total: 4 hrs
- Active: 1 hr 25 mins
- 10 ounces white pearl onions
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dusting beef, plus 1/4 cup for stew
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 medium green bell peppers, large dice
- 2 medium stalks celery, large dice
- 5 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 3 teaspoons fresh)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 4 medium green, unripe tomatoes, large dice
- 2 medium bay leaves
- Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place onions in a medium heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them; let sit 1 minute, then drain. Run under cold water until cool enough to handle, then peel onions, trim ends, and reserve.
- Season beef well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put 1/4 cup flour in a dish, add beef pieces, and toss to coat; shake off excess flour. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 3-1/2- or 5-quart low-sided casserole or other large Dutch oven. Add beef in a single layer (do this in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add pearl onions, bell pepper, and celery to the pot; stir well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté vegetables until they begin to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and tomato paste, and cook 1 minute more. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring frequently, until flour is well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in wine and deglaze, by scraping up any browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula, and allow to reduce slightly, about 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seared beef with any accumulated juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so stew is barely simmering. Cook, covered, until meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. (Check occasionally to make sure mixture is not boiling.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Prepare biscuit dough, cut it into circles, and cover with a clean, dry towel until stew is ready. If you’ve made the stew in a large Dutch oven, transfer it to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and top with biscuits; if you’ve made it in the shallow Le Creuset buffet casserole, simply place biscuits on top of stew in the pot and brush them with a little heavy cream. Place a baking sheet on the oven rack below the casserole to catch any drips, and bake casserole until biscuits are crispy on top and golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.