3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1½-to 2-inch cubes and patted dry
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 6 pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 6 pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (about 16 ounces each) chickpeas, drained
1½ teaspoons finely grated zest and the juice from 1 large orange
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a heavy soup kettle or a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over low heat.
Meanwhile, place meat cubes and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl and turn to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
A few minutes before cooking, add 1 tablespoon oil to pot and increase heat to a strong medium-high until wisps of smoke start to rise from the pan. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until lightly brown and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from pot; set aside.
Working in 2 batches, add meat and sear, turning only once, until 2 sides form an impressive, dark brown crust, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to the hot empty pot, add onion, and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, and saffron and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk in flour, then broth, wine, and tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Return beef to pot. Using two potholders to protect hands, place a sheet of heavy-duty foil over pot, pressing foil down so that it touches stew. Seal foil completely around edges. Place lid snugly on pot and set over medium-high heat until juices bubble. Set pot in oven and cook for 1½ hours.
Remove pot from oven and set over low heat. Carefully remove foil and stir in peppers, chickpeas, orange zest and juice, and a little water, if necessary, to make gravy. Remembering that pot and lid are hot, re-cover pot and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Serve.
Serves six to eight.
Cook's note: It can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead. Simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving. As with the other stews in the section, you can easily double the recipe by using a large heavy roasting pan.
Wine pairing: A toasty medium-bodied Rioja Crianza
"Perfect One-Dish Dinners" by Pam Anderson (2010 HMH)