Recipe for beef stew.
Or to be more fancy:beef daube, or to be less fancy: boeuf bourguignon .
Actually these are all different dishes.I know that. My particular take on the beef stew borrows elements of each dish.So that is why I bother to mention all of them.
Try to save this for a cold day.Even better: a cold rainy day when a hot soupy meal is just what you crave.
Be prepared! This recipe needs wine.It needs 3 hours.It needs your undivided attention.Well, just for the chopping stuff up part.It needs an 8 quart pot with a lid that you know can go on the oven,too. The oven should be heated to 350 degrees.
The ingredientsWine.How often have you been told to cook with a wine you would also like to drink?
This is true.
This isn’t a ploy to get you to toss away a bottle of expensive red,however.
A good bottle of very drinkable wine can be got for under 10 bucks.
My father would say it can be got for under 5 bucks but he is an extremist.
Anyone using Zinfandel in a burgundy situation will be shunned.
Since Merlot and Cabernet are the most popular(so most available) reds-get one of those.Yellowtail has decent bottles for about 7.50.And if your local store charges more than that you are being scammed.Personally I prefer Red Bicyclette or Smoking Loon-but we are aiming for accessibility here and Yellowtail is everywhere.
The meat can be gotten in two ways.Whole and you chop it up or in pieces and you don’t have to chop it up.This recipe usually works just as well either way—if the meat is of a good quality. The kind can be chuck–but also only if it is good quality.I don’t know about you but I will happily pay more if my end result doesn’t taste like a mix of hair oil and grease.And unfortunately, regular supermarket stew meat can end up tasting like that–even if you took special care with the recipe.So go to the butcher and pick up 2 pounds of chuck .Your butcher will offer to cut it up for you so don’t be shy– ask him to make the pieces about 1 and a half inches around– or big– or whatever. They want you to tell them what you want. Your local butcher should not be charging more than 4 dollars a pound for stew meat. And again, if they are, you are being scammed. But don’t worry,even if they charge 6 dollars a pound you will be sure it is fresh .And in a supermarket this is not a certainty. And supers love to jack up the prices .
- Shallots! 2 of them.
- carrots, 2 of them
- one yellow medium onion
- 3 large spuds uh,potatoes
- 3 stalks of celery
- 16 pearl onions, these we will not put in until nearly the end
- 3 cloves of garlic, small
- a carton of white mushrooms
The fresh herbs:
- rosemary,2 sprigs.
- thyme, a healthy bunch
I can be thought of as a cheaterbut I do not care it makes it taste better!
»A can of beef broth with low sodium.
We will be adding our own salt thank you very much.
For the adventurous:hot chili paste.Totally optional.But a teaspoon tossed in when simmering the onions and shallots makes things a little more exciting.
A cup of cold water. If your ingredients all stack up so that things aren’t totally covered by the wine and the broth- get some cold water and pour it on top to cover.
I find that a cup is usually enough.
Olive Oil( a couple of tablespoons–maybe 4 it’s up to you…Just make sure that when hot it spreads out enough to coat the bottom of the pot.)
- Salt– to taste
- Pepper– to taste– but add at least quarter of a teaspoon,ok?
- A couple of tablespoons of Paprika.So what if we’re heading into Goulash territory?
Don’t cook cold meat! Take that meat out of the fridge ahead of time so that it isn’t ice cold when you throw it into the pot.I think this makes it seize up and get hard.I could be imagining things,though.
Dice the shallots and onions.
Chop the celeryand the carrots.
Peel and cube the potatoes.
Heat the oil in the pot.Toss in the onions and shallots. Make sure that the heat isn’t too high-about medium-high here is fine.Here is where the adventurous ones will add the chili paste.
While they are simmering enough to get clear- chop everything else.Rinse the mushrooms and snip off the bit of stem.
Now your onions and shallots should be a little see through so go ahead and add the carrots and celery.Cook for a few minutes.
Add the meat.
Let it get somewhat brown and then pour in the wine.
Here is where things can go wrong: you must reduce the wine! Vital! Reducing just means letting the liquid boil down until it is about half the amount it was. And if you have to turn up the heat here to get things going that’s ok.The wine will keep stuff from burning.
But be careful-it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes for the reduction process to happen.
If you had to turn up the heat,turn it back down to medium high.
Then add everything else: the potatoes, the mushrooms and the pearl onions.When everything is stirred up-add the broth and then the water–but only enough water to cover,right?
Here is where you get to get fancy: bunch together the sprigs of rosemary and thyme and tie their ends up with butcher’s twine or cotton string. If you don’t have any just chop it all up and toss it in.If you have cheesecloth handy (I never do!) place the herb sprigs inside and then tie it up-make sure you leave enough string to tie one end to the pothandle.It just makes it way easier to keep from falling apart this way-cheesecloth or no cheesecloth!
I hope you remembered to chop up the garlic but if you didn’t that’s ok because you have a half hour to add it in.Let the stew cook at a low boil for half an hour and then put in the chopped garlic.Put on the lid and place in your oven.Let it cook for about 2 hours.
And that’s it.
Grab the wine and spoon up a bowl (or two) and enjoy.I know everyone says that at the end of a recipe but sometimes cliches are allowed.
I personally think this is a meal in itself but some people need a side dish of rice or noodles to be totally happy.