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.
- 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.
Nutritional information does not include Brown Veal Stock. For nutritional information on Brown Veal Stock, please follow the link above.