Recipe by jenpalombi
from Fine Cooking #84. A very rich and hearty beef stew that is perfect served over mashed potatoes.
Top Review by Michele B.
Best stew I've ever made!!! I didn't use the bacon but thought it couldn't have turned out any better with it. The gravy was so rich and full of flavor and the fact that it was served over mashed potatoes made for a fantastic texture combination. I had a lot of people to feed so cooking the potatoes separate left more room in the crock pot for the meat and carrots. Mine cooked in the crock pot for about 3 hours on high, then I reduced to low setting for last 2 hours. Thank you for this great gem!
- 3 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces shallots, thinly sliced (8 to 10 medium)
- 2 tablespoons brandy, such as Cognac
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 to 3 tsp.)
- 2 teaspoons herbes de provence
- 2 cups red wine, such as Cotes du Rhone
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes
- 4 slices orange zest (2-1/2 inches long, removed with a vegetable peeler)
- 1 lb slender carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions See How It's Made
- Using your fingers and a thin knife, pull the roast apart along its natural seams. Trim off any thick layers of fat. Carve the roast into 1-1/2- to 2-inch cubes and arrange them on a paper-towel- lined tray to dry.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 325ºF.
- Heat the oil and bacon together in a 7- or 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the bacon is browned but not crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small plate. Season about one-third of the beef with salt and pepper, and arrange the cubes in a sparse single layer in the pot to brown. Adjust the heat so the beef sizzles and browns but does not burn. Cook until all sides are a rich brown, a total of about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate or tray, and season and brown the remaining beef in two more batches.
- When all the beef chunks are browned, pour off all but about 1 Tbs. of drippings, if necessary. Set the pot over medium-high heat, add the shallots, season with a large pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper, and sauté until they just begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the brandy and let it boil away. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbes de Provence, stirring to incorporate, and sauté for another 1 minute. Add the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the caramelized drippings, and bring to a boil. Pour in the liquid from the tomatoes, holding the tomatoes back with your hand. Then one by one, crush the tomatoes with your hand over the pot and drop them inches Add the orange zest, and return the beef (along with accumulated juices) and bacon to the pot. Finally, add the carrots, bring to a simmer, cover, and slide into the oven.
- Cook the stew, stirring every 45 minutes, until the meat is fork-tender (taste a piece; all trace of toughness should be gone), 2 to 3 hours. Before serving, skim off any surface fat (if there is any), taste for salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.
- Make Ahead: This dish can be made up to three days ahead. Reserve the chopped parsley and don’t bother skimming the surface fat. Instead, transfer the cooled stew to a bowl or baking dish, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Before reheating, lift off the layer of solid fat that will be on the surface. Reheat gently in a 325ºF oven in a covered baking dish, stirring once, for about 30 min., or until hot. Taste for salt and pepper and add the parsley just before serving.