It’s not hard to see why dishes like soups and stews are so heartwarming in the chillier months. Served piping hot, they quickly warm our bodies, and our souls. They take a generous amount of time to be prepared, not something you can slap together quickly, and are therefore almost always made with great care and attention (not to mention heaps of love).
We can’t think of a better vehicle for our treasured Herbes de Provence. This aromatic blend of dried herbs is beloved all over the world for its ease of use and ability to make anything it touches darn tasty!
Let’s learn a little bit more about what makes this seasoning so special, and then we’ll dive into some stew specifics! This dried herbal mix hails from the Provence region of southeast France.
The Lafayette Spices mix includes five herbs, each with its own distinct flavor profile and importance to the blend: Savory, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, and Oregano. Each herb is picked at its absolute peak of flavor and slowly air dried – this process achieves a flavor and color that is second to none.
The blend itself is considered to be one of the youngest herb mixtures in France – after staples like Bouquet Garni and Fines Herbes. The term has only been around since the 70’s and was popularized by Julia Child!
The mixture itself can include many different iterations of herbs – and can be either fresh or dried. The blend can include thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, basil, chervil, tarragon, lovage, savory, sage, bay leaf, and fennel.
Some mixtures outside of France include Lavender because it was an excellent selling point to tourists who couldn’t picture a Provincial herb blend without it!
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the beef stew. Let’s dive in! Stews are easy to make, and this one isn’t any different. It’s really a matter of adding ingredients into the pot in the correct order, and being careful to not rush the process.
It does take some time! Settle in with a glass of wine and a good book, relax. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious stew….
2 lbs Boneless Beef Round
Salt and Pepper
¼ Cup AP Flour
1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
3 Cups Chopped Onion
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Cups Red Wine
1 Tbsp. Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
3 Bay Leaves
2 Cups Beef Broth
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
3 Cups Chopped Carrots
3 Cups Potato, Cubed
1 Cup Fresh Peas
1.5 tsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, Chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, season cubes of beef with salt, pepper, flour, and paprika.
- Heat canola oil in a dutch oven and brown the meat. When brown, remove and set aside.
- Add onions to the beef fat and caramelize. Add garlic and cook until aromatic. Stir in tomato paste. Deglaze with red wine, then reduce it until almost dry.
- Add dried thyme, rosemary, herbes de provence and bay leaves. Add beef broth and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Add the seared beef back to the stew liquid. Remove from heat, cover the pot, and put it in the oven for about 1.5 hours.Add carrots, potatoes, and more beef broth if needed. Put the pot back in the oven and allow to cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaves. Stir in peas, fresh rosemary, and thyme.
And that’s it! It’s really a very simple recipe, but you’ll need a few hours to spare. Our Herbes de Provence are your ticket straight to the aromatic shores of France.
The herbs open up and soften in the roasting fats and become something truly magical. Enjoy this beautiful blend, it’s one of our favorites and we’re certain it will quickly become yours too.