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Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
A brown, aromatic stew, with gravy to anoint some noodles or just bathe the tender hunks of potatoes or top a serving of mashed potatoes. Make it a day ahead or just turn it off for 1 or 2 hours in the middle of cooking...it seems to provide some instant maturing off the recipe.
- 1 -2 slice chopped bacon (optional) or 1 -2 slice diced salt pork (optional)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 -4 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
- 2 sliced carrots
- 2 sliced onions
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 5 cups beef broth, and cheap wine (homemade or canned, red or white, use up to 3 cups wine, or all broth if you prefer)
- 1 -2 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 -3 garlic cloves
- salt & pepper
- 4 medium cubed potatoes
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 1⁄2 lb sliced mushrooms
- Cook bacon or salt pork in a tablespoon of oil in a large heavy fry pan over low heat until lightly browned.
- Remove and set aside.
- Dry the beef with paper toweling, then add as many pieces as you can without crowding to the fry pan.
- Brown nicely all over.
- Transfer the meat to a heavy 4-5 quart Dutch Oven with lid.
- Add the carrots, celery and onion to the fry pan and cook until starting to brown a little.
- Transfer vegetables to Dutch Oven.
- Pour a cup or so of wine or beef broth into the frying pan and bring to a boil, scraping up all the lovely browned bits in pan.
- Pour this over the beef and vegetables.
- Now, put the Dutch Oven over low heat and add the rest of the wine and beef broth.
- Add the browned bacon bits or salt pork, if you are using them.
- Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and chopped garlic cloves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Taste and season with salt & pepper, be cautious, you can add more later.
- Cover and cook slowly, either in a preheated 325 degree oven, or on top of the stove.
- Simmer for 2-4 hours, until the meat is very tender.
- An hour before the end of cooking, add the potatoes if you want to use them, and add the peas and mushrooms 30 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Finish off the stew by skimming any fat that remains on the surface, and boiling down the liquid to reduce it, if it seems too thin.
- Serve with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
- NOTE: Cheaper cuts of meat, like shank or shin beef, will take the longest to cook; chuck or round the shortest.