Prep 5 mins
Cook 2 hrs 15 mins
This is an adopted recipe, and it had 4 reviews, none of which contained comments before I inherited it. I'm severely allergic to mushrooms so have adapted this classic to suit our family, so if you add mushrooms as stated in the recipe it will taste different to what I am able to make and test so I will leave you to judge if that is OK or not :) I've added my personal notes to the bottom of the directions, I hope that it helps you.
- bouquet garni (directions follow)
- 1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine
- 16 small white onions, peeled
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 4 lbs boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1⁄4 cup brandy, warmed (optional)
- 2 cups Burgundy wine or 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups small mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup cold water
- salt and pepper
- hot cooked rice (optional) or hot cooked noodles (optional)
- Bouquet garni: Tie in a square of damp cheesecloth: 1 carrot (quartered), 1 celery top, 1 dry bay leaf, 1 or 2 parsley sprigs, and 1 fresh thyme sprig (or 1 teaspoon dry thyme).
- Prepare bouquet garni; set side.
- Melt butter in a large, heavy pan over medium heat.
- Add onions and bacon; cook, stirring often, until onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- lift out onions and bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add beef to pan, a portion at a time (do not crowd pan).
- Cook, turning as needed, until well browned on all sides.
- If using brandy, move pan into an open area, away from exhaust fans and flammable items.
- Add brandy to pan and ignite; shake or tilt pan until flame dies.
- Return all meat to pan; add burgundy, garlic, mushrooms, the 1 1/2 cups water, bouquet garni, onions, and bacon.
- Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer meat, mushrooms, and onions to a serving dish; keep warm.
- Pour meat juices through a fine wire strainer set over a medium-size pan; discard residue in strainer.
- In a small bowl, mix flour and the 1/2 cup water to make a smooth paste.
- Stir flour mixture into meat juices; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.
- If made ahead, let cool; then cover and refrigerate until next day.
- To reheat, transfer to a baking dish; cover and bake in a 350*F (175*C) oven until bubbly and heated through, about 35 minutes.
- Serve over hot cooked rice or noodles, if desired.
- Kiwidutch notes: first of all I skipped the brandy part of the recipe -- I made this on the stove top and the flavour was good but the meat was ever so slightly tough, so then I made this as an oven dish, but as with the first attempt, without the mushrooms DH said it was missing some flavour, but that the basis was good -- so I bought some cheap stewing beef a third time, and tried again, using the pressure cooker.
- Thinking that the addition of a vegetable might improve the flavour I added a head of broccoli (chopped) into the mix and pressure cooked for 30 minutes. The result was a slightly messy looking beef stew, but the taste was vastly improved and DH loved it -- so it's going to stay firmly in my cookbook with the additions that suit our needs and tastes. It's a cheap and easy meal to make, and went well over our roast potatoes.
- With only stars given in the reviews to date (July 2005) I am not certain how else people might wish me to try and improve this recipe. Therefore I give you my own experiences and ideas and would appreciate your feedback if you would like to experiment further with this one :).
This is similar to my recipe for beef burgandy. Here is my method - I do not add the onions until about 1 hr. before the meat is cooked. Nor do I add the mushrooms until then. I brown the onions in some unsalted butter and sprinkle them with brown sugar. Also treat the small mushrooms the same way because this way they do not come out like boiled mushrooms. These changes are our personal tastes but the basic ingredients are great. Thanks Kiwidutch.
Andria, I made this tonight with your request for feedback in mind. I used mushrooms, but I fried them before adding them to the stew as I hate boiled mushrooms. I used the brandy, and I replaced the water with stock, I also added a tablespoon of tomato paste to give this a richer flavour. I removed the lid for the final 30 minutes and let the liquid reduce rather than adding the slurry at steps 14 and 15. I think flour thickened sauces are often flavourless and avoid them when I can preferring reductions. Our meat was a bit tough too, I actually wish I'd used common old gravy beef and just cooked it a bit longer. HTH Jan.