Red Barn Cafe-

Life is hectic - Savor every Bite!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Slow Cooked Provencal Stew

Total Time: 4 Hours Yield: 10 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each (I cut the recipe in half, serves 4with leftovers)
For Bouquet Garni:
2 large green leek leaves (about 6 inches long)
1 bay leaf
1 stalk celery
2 sprigs fresh parsley, with stems
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 2-inch-long strip tangerine or orange peel

For Stew:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
2 medium yellow or red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds carrots, sliced into 1-inch rounds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound button mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large
1 bottle (750 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir   note- I used Bella Sera Pinot Noir, fabulous to drink, too
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated zest of 1 tangerine or orange

Preheat oven to 250°F.

bouquet garni: Place one leek leaf on the counter. Top with bay leaf, celery stalk, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and tangerine (or orange) peel. Place the second leek leaf on top and tie the bundle together in four spots with kitchen string. Set aside.

To prepare stew: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pancetta (or bacon) and cook until barely brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving any drippings in the pot.

Add beef (do not crowd the pot) and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and add onions and garlic.

 Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour wine into the pot and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add bacon to the pot along with the bouquet garni. Press down on the beef and vegetables, making sure to submerge them completely in the wine; if necessary, add just enough hot water to make sure they are covered. Cover.

Transfer the stew to the oven and cook about 3 hours. Check every hour to be sure the ingredients stay submerged in liquid during the entire cooking time. If too much wine evaporates, add a little hot water or chicken broth.Meanwhile, brown muchrooms in 1 tsp olive oil and set aside. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in the reserved mushrooms.

Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Combine chopped parsley and tangerine (or orange) zest in a small bowl and scatter on top of the stew just before serving.(I forgot this step, but added the zest last minute, it really did enhance the flavor). I served with homemaded mashed potatoes. You could also use rice, polenta or toasted garlic bread.
It made a lot more than the pics show...I forgot to take a pic until we had plowed into it! The smell of this cooking all day was delightful and we were anxious to try it.

Recipe originates from with modifications.

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