lean beef, cleaned and cut into 1 cubes
( top sirloin's good)
1 (750 ml) bottles
( A Burgundy is fine, but any Merlot also works)
2 small onions or 1 large
onion, finely chopped
carrots, peeled, cut lengthwise and sliced
celery ribs, washed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
garlic cloves, minced
bacon, sliced into 1/4 pieces
fresh rosemary, chopped
other spices or
herbs, to your taste
brown italian mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
parsley, chopped, for garnish
- In a large pot, cook the bacon pieces at medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the pieces are completely crispy and are swimming in bacon fat. Scoop out the bacon and set aside.
- Put the flour into a large zip lock bag with about a tsp of salt and ditto of pepper. Mix well. Coat the meat cubes in this mixture in 4 batches, removing each batch as it’s coated.
- Increase the heat under the pot to high, and brown the meat in batches. If the bacon fat mysteriously disappears, replace with olive oil, or vegetable oil if you want. I know you're not supposed to heat olive oil but it didn't do me any harm, and vegetable oil sometimes forms a nasty-tasting slick on the surface of this dish -- Set the browned meat aside in a bowl.
- Once all the meat is browned, add oil if needed and put the onion, carrot and celery in the pan. Stir over medium-high heat until thoroughly softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper if you like, then add the minced garlic and the meat back in along with its juices. Stir, then add the whole bottle of wine to the pan.
- A word about spices. Before you start simmering, I like adding the herbs at this stage. Lots of fine herbs, definitely some fresh, chopped rosemary, but the truth is, I sort of make it up as I go along at this point. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 4-5 hours.
- During the final half-hour of simmering, sprinkle the mushrooms with garlic powder and fry until crispy. Set aside.
- Taste the stew. Add salt, pepper and spices where needed. Another flying-by-ear operation! Guilty secret: last time I made this, I added 2 tbsp of Emeril's Essence to the stew and that worked beautifully!
- Serve in a big bowl and sprinkle with the fried mushrooms and parsley. Serve with (or over) potatoes or pasta.