Mike has been an absolute lifesaver on Mondays and Wednesdays. Why? Because he cooks, folks. He cooks and it’s dang tasty. These two days are go go go for me. I’m in rotation from 8 – 4:30, go for a run, and then go to Pilates Reformer. I don’t get home until close to 8 on Mondays and Wednesdays and it’s so nice to come home to a delicious meal.
I don’t always know when I’ll need him to make a meal, so I try to menu plan easier dishes. This particular stew came from Food & Wine’s 2008 annual cookbook. I’m trying to get a good mix of internet and cookbook recipes into our meals just to mix it up a bit. After all, I do have a lot of cookbooks and I should probably use them instead of letting them collect dust on my bookshelf.
This particular dish was phenomenal. I loved the tanginess of the red wine in it. I honestly could have eaten the entire pot.. don’t judge me – running makes me hungry! I’ll probably try making it in the slow cooker next to make it even easier.
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
slightly adapted from Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2008
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds lean beef chuck roast, visible fat trimmed, roast cut into 8 pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 bottle dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
1 5-ounce piece of pancetta
2 1/4 cups water
20 pearl onions, peeled
15 cremini mushrooms, wiped clean
15 baby carrots
Dash of sugar
Chopped fresh leaf parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large cast-iron pot over moderate heat, belt butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the pieces of beef in a single layer in the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook beef over high heat for about 8 minutes, turning to brown pieces on all sides.
- Stir in onions and garlic. Reduce heat to moderate and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, stirring well so it doesn’t form lumps, then stir in the red wine. Add bay leaves, thyme sprig, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover the pot.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and braise for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is soft and tender and liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over moderate heat for about 30 minutes and then drain. Cut pancetta into 1/2 inch slices, then cut the slices into 1-inch wide strips.
- Combine the pearl onions, mushrooms, baby carrots and pancetta strips in a skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 cup of water and a good dash of sugar, salt, and ground pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, over moderate heat for 15 minutes, until most of the water has cooked off. Uncover and cook over high heat, sauteing the vegetables until well browned all over, about 4 minutes.
- Stir some of the vegetables and pancetta into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.