March 21, 2010

Beef Stew with Red Wine

I have the house all to myself today, so I've decided to stay home, cook and perhaps catch up with my knitting. Today's recipe is inspired by Julia Child's famous beef bourguignon. I served this with kale and boiled potatoes as a side dish.
1¾ lbs. lean stew beef, cut into small cubes
4 cups cabernet sauvignon
beef stock (optional)
½ cup carrots, cut in small chunks
½ cup celery, sliced (optional)
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 small onion
1 cup mushrooms
10-20 small whole white onions, peeled
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
3 Tbsp. flour
Butter for cooking
salt to taste
1. Wash beef and dry well with a clean towel. Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in heavy skillet on high and browned the meat on both sides. Transfer browned meat to a deep pot or casserole.
2. In same skillet, add some butter and fry onions till soft, fry carrots and celery (if used) till it absorb most of the oil. Add a little wine to it to deglaze the pan. Pour this to the pot with the meat. Add bay leaf, thyme, garlic, mushroom, tomatoes and stir in to mix. Add wine and enough liquid or stock to cover the meat and vegetables completely. Bring this to a boil, cover and simmer till meat is tender, about 2 hours.
3. In another skillet, add 1 Tbsp. of butter and heat on high, stir in flour and using a spatula mix the flour with the butter will it resembles a thick brown paste. Add some warm water and continue stirring till it is smooth without lumps. Set aside.
4. Clean the skillet, add 1 Tbsp. butter and heat on high, add white onions and brown on both sides, add a little stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
5. Remove the bay leaf and thyme from stew, reheat on medium heat. Stir in the flour paste (roux) and the caramelized white onions. Season to taste if needed. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.
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