It's been unseasonably cold here this past week, today the sun actually came out but it was still chilly. Nothing better than a long cooking stew on such a day, by late afternoon the house was smelling really good.
This recipe comes from a French woman I took a cooking class from. I really enjoyed the class, the food was great. The dish she cooked was much chunkier but my stew meat was pre-cut in smallish chunks so I cut everything else to match so it would cook more evenly. This has a great taste, caramelizing the onions and mushrooms separately adds a lot of flavor.
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6 oz. bacon
3 lbs. beef shoulder
2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 tbls. olive oil
2 tbls. flour
2 1/2 cups French Bourgogne red wine (Pinot Noir)
2/3 cups beef stock
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbls. herbes de Provence (blend of thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary)
Several cups of water
20 pearl onions
1 tbls. olive oil
2 tbls. sugar
3 tbls. water
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
1. Cut the bacon slices into 1/2" lardons (wide strands) . Cook the bacon in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat until the bacon is cooked through, but not crunchy. Remove the bacon from the pot, and set aside.
2. Cut the beef shoulder into 2" cubes. Brown the beef in batches in the pot, being careful not to crowd. If you should need more oil use the 2 tbls. of olive oil. You want to develop a nice fond on the bottom of the pot but be careful not to burn.
3. After the beef has browned add the onion, carrot and garlic to the pot and saute until lightly browned.
4. Add the beef and bacon back to the pot along with the flour and stir, cooking the flour for just a minute, stirring constantly.
5. Add the wine, stock, salt, pepper and herbes de Provence to the pot and mix well.
6. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 2 1/2 hrs, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.
7. Meanwhile, peel the pearl onions and place them in a saute pan with 1 tbls. olive oil, sugar and water. Cook the onions over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes until they caramelize and the sugar becomes syrupy. Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside.
8. Add the sliced mushrooms to the same saute pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.
9. About 10 minutes before the beef mixture is done simmering add the sauteed onions and mushrooms to the pot.
10. Serve immediately over noodles or potatoes.
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