by June Hersh,The Kosher Carnivore, (St. Martin's Press)
Chuck and Stew get potted is not just a good name for a buddy flick, but a way to remember how to best prepare cubed meat from the chuck region. This stew speaks with a French accent and is a take on a classic daube. The full-bodied red wine sauce welcomes chunks of carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and pearl onions. If you can exhibit some self-control, let the finished dish sit overnight in the fridge, it intensifies the flavor and further thickens the sauce. As for the wine, never cook with anything you wouldn’t want to drink, it’s an important component; so don’t skimp.
2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef stock
2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 cups cleaned baby carrots
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1–inch pieces
8 ounces small white button mushrooms
2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed, optional
Dry the beef and dredge it lightly in the seasoned flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a braising pot, sear the meat until nice and brown, about 5 minutes- you might need to do this in two batches. Add the stock, wine, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook covered for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more stock and lower the heat is the sauce is cooking down.
While the meat braises, heat a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook and stir the garlic, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions, over medium heat, until lightly browned about 10 to 15 minutes. After the stew has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, add the sautéed veggies and continue cooking, over low heat, about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes before serving, you can toss in the peas, if using. If the sauce is too thick, add additional stock. If it is too thin, remove the meat and vegetables and create a slurry by whisking together 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or flour with 2 teaspoons of water, stir back into the pot, heat and repeat if necessary. Serve in shallow bowls with a nice hunk of crusty bread.
Yield; About 4 to 6 servings
Start to Finish: Under 5 hours
Behind the Counter Stew meat cut from the neck or shoulder is preferable. Have your butcher cut the meat into 1 -inch cubes, trimming excess visible fat. Alternate cuts Veal or lamb stew meat (+$), bone-in or boneless chuck roast (=$), short ribs (+$).
Recipes: Meat, Beef Stew, Kosher