There are few meals as satisfying and comforting as a good stew on a chilly day. My family loves to come in from the cold and find a hot bowl of stew waiting for them. This stew is loaded with beef, mushrooms and pearl onions. All of this goodness is layered with touches of herbs and sun dried tomatoes. It's also the perfect meal for entertaining since it can be made in advance and is even more delicious served a day after its made. Serve it with sides of polenta or mashed potatoes and a green salad and the meal is pretty much perfect.
Ingredients for Beef and Mushroom Stew:
serves 6 - 8
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1 /2" - 2" pieces
grapeseed oil or olive oil
24 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 1/2 cups warm water (reserve water)
2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 cup chopped carrot
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 sundried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup reserved mushroom water
1 bay leaf
a couple of fresh rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
You will also need a small square of cheesecloth.
Time-Saving Tips: All of the vegetables can be prepped prior to preparing the stew. The stew can be made in advance and refrigerated. When ready to enjoy take the stew out of the refrigerator an hour before heating it. Then gently place, covered, in a preheated 325-degree oven.
Let's see what we need.
Now let'e make the stew.
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Scoop the mushrooms from the water and chop. Hold a piece of cheesecloth over a small bowl and pour the mushroom liquid directly on to the cheesecloth. The cheesecloth will catch any debris left from the mushrooms. Reserve one cup of the liquid and mushrooms for later.
Now on to preparing the fresh cremini mushrooms. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and save for another recipe. Then depending on the size, half or quarter the mushroom tops. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Once hot, add the cremini mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until the mushrooms have browned. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325-degrees.
Make sure to dry the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Heat enough oil to barely coat the bottom of the pot. Add one layer of beef cubes at a time and brown well - this adds a lot of flavor to the stew. Transfer the meat to a plate once browned.
Add a little more than a tablespoon of oil to the same pot used to brown the meat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Then add the sundried tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary. Stir for a minute and then add the flour. Saute until combined.
Add the broth, tomatoes and reserved porcini liquid to the pot. Once combined add the meat, mushrooms and pearl onions. Place the covered pot in the preheated oven. Cook for about an hour and a half or until the meat is tender. Stirring once or twice. Once finished adding more salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the parsley.
It's ready! Doesn't this look delicious? I froze some and brought it to the beach this weekend to complement a bottle of red wine.