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I think it's the best stew I have ever made. My search for a perfect stew isn't over but wow, this is good. It's on the thick and hearty side rather than the thin and hearty side. If you want it thinner add water 1/2 cup at a time. I served this with hot rolls to sop up the gravy and caesar salad for my garlic fix. The "beef base" is the Better than Bouillon brand. The "dry french rub" is McCormicks. I tried this recipe twice. The first time I used regular beef stock-it was borderline to salty. The second time I used low sodium beef stock-just right. I used my cast iron dutch oven.
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 3 lbs beef roast, sirloin or 3 lbs arm roast
- 1⁄4 lb applewood smoked bacon, chopped
- 4 large carrots, cut and quartered
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 lb baby red potato, whole
- 8 ounces brown button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cups merlot
- 1⁄2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon beef base
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons French dry rub
- 2 bay leaves
- water, as needed
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Prepare vegetables, keeping chopped onions aside.
- In a medium bowl combine flour and pepper, set aside.
- In a measuring cup combine beef base with 1 cup hot water, set aside.
- In a dutch oven heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Chop bacon, set aside.
- Cut beef into 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.
- Add beef to seasoned flour, toss to coat.
- Brown seasoned beef in two batches, placing first and second batches in a medium bowl.
- Add bacon to hot dutch oven, stirring until the fat is just turning golden brown.
- Remove and add to beef bowl.
- Add onions to dutch oven, reducing heat to medium.
- Stir often and keep an eye on them so they do not burn.
- When just golden add tomato paste, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the merlot, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the beef base with water, worcestershire, beef stock, dry french rub and stir well.
- Add prepared vegetables, stir well to coat.
- Add contents of the beef bowl, stir well to coat.
- Add bay leaves.
- Cover with a lid and place in oven.
- If your oven runs hot reduce heat to 275 degrees.
- Check stew at 3 hours, giving it a good stir.
- Add water if needed.
- Stir again at 4 hours, remove at 5 hours.
- Search out bay leaves and remove.
This is so good, and it's even better the day after. I used light olive oil for the browning but otherwise followed the recipe pretty much as written. A bowl of this and a chunk of garlic bread... oh man! Thanks for a great recipe Dib's.