In a few weeks, winter will come knocking on our front doors, bearing gifts of freezing temperatures. It’s most certain his good ol’ pals, Snowy and Jack Frost, are tagged along, too. Whatever the case may be, I’m not fretting. A soul-satisfying stew is just the ticket sure enough to warm us all up. Bon Appétit!
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces bacon, diced
1 pound beef chuck, cubed into 1 1/2-inch chunks
salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces pearl onions
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
3. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
4. Toss the carrots, sliced onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
5. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat.
6. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and place it in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are fork-tender.
7. Combine 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the pearl onions.
8. Sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
9. Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or warm crusty bread.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten