Everything old is new again. Every 1960’s housewife knew how to make this classic stew, and then it went out of style in favor of trendier dishes, but it is still one of the best winter dinner party dishes around. It can be made several days ahead of time, and the side dishes are easy to make, too--one in the oven and one on the stove. Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Potato-Celeriac Mash complete the menu. Serve a crisp green salad before or after, and a dessert such as Caramel Apple Tart to complete the French theme.
• Drop pearl onions into boiling water for 30 seconds. The peels will slide right off.
• Freezing bacon for 15 minutes will make it easier to cut.
• If making ahead of time, cook 30 minutes less than the recipe states. That way, you can reheat it without worrying about the meat falling apart. Reheat until it is perfectly fork tender.
A bunch of fresh or dried herbs--usually parsley, they, and bay leaf--that is tied together in a bundle or wrapped in cheesecloth and is used to flavor soups, stocks, and sauces. I like to buy ready-made ones, which look a bit like green cigars, with white string holding them together. These are widely available, but I like he ones from Oliviers & Co.
Serves6 to 8
Cooking Methodsauteeing, slow cooking, stewing
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturechewy, meaty, rich, savory, smoky
- ½ pound slab bacon, cut into ¼- to ½-inch thick slices
- 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef stock or Brown Veal Stock
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 package (8 ounces) cipollini or white pearl onions, peeled, leaving root end intact
- 1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 1 bouquet garni (see Notes)
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Cut the bacon into ¼- to ½-inch squares. Place in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, and cook over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 25 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Arrange the meat in a single layer and brown over high heat. (Browning may need to be done in 2 or more batches depending on the size of the pan.) Once all the meat has been browned, add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, stir well, and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the tomato paste and deglaze the pan by adding the wine, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Add the stock, carrot, onions, mushrooms, half of the browned bacon, 1 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. After 1½ to 2 hours, once the meat begins to get tender, crack the lid an inch or two so the sauce can thicken. (Depending on the amount of liquid in the pan, the lid may be taken off completely.) Continue to cook for a total of 2½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, and the sauce has thickened. Garnish with the remaining bacon and chopped parsley.
2005 Susan Spungen