This recipe is wonderful to make on a lazy Sunday. It’s a bit labor intensive, but so worth it. Put some Norah Jones jazz on the CD player, pour a nice glass of red wine and life is good. Your place will smell fantastic as the beef simmers with the herbs.
This is my take on the recipe – adapted from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten’s recipes. Serves 6-8
- 2 lbs stewing beef
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, quartered
- 3 carrots – chopped into large chunks
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 package Applewood Smoked bacon. Slice into 1″ pieces. ( Yes, expensive, but so worth it and this stew will feed a crowd)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 cup dry red wine – I used a decent Pinot Noir- $10
- 8 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium beef stock (Kitchen Basics brand is my favorite – great flavor!)
- Cut up all the veggies and set aside. Chop the bacon.
- Cut the beef into smaller cubes if desired. Toss with the cornstarch.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T olive oil in the pan and brown the beef on all sides. You will need to do this in batches so the meat is not crowded. Otherwise it will steam instead of brown. Add more olive oil as needed.
- Transfer the beef into a bowl after it is browned. You will get some lovely juice rendered.
5. Add mushrooms to pot. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Add shallots, celery, carrot and bacon to pot. Cook about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.
7. Return beef with plate juices to pot. Add thyme and bay leaf. Raise heat to high. Add wine. Cook, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beef is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
8. Add reserved mushrooms. Bring to a simmer; cook for 5 mins.
This is wonderful served with a crunchy french bread for dipping. Also, serve over egg noodles tossed with butter and fresh parsley.