This is one seriously meaty entrée - it is so rich and tasty. It's definitely just right for a rainy day and night, when you have many hours to let it cook, warm up your home, and make things smell delicious. I prefer mine served with simple mashed potatoes; Russell prefers his with big pearly israli-style couscous. Leftovers are divine on day two. Make sure to start early enough; the first time i cooked this i started at 5:00 pm and we didn't eat until 10:30. don't let the number of steps intimidate you - this is an easy and inexpensive dish; there's plenty of wait time while things simmer. Serve this with your favorite starch and a simple leafy green salad, and comfort is nigh. Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Jan/Feb 2001, pp.12-14.
6 oz slab bacon, trimmed of rind, and cut into lardons [note: the original calls for salt pork here. I keep a ziplock of bacon lardons in my freezer for dishes like this.]
10 sprigs fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
2 medium carrots, chopped coarsely
1 medium garlic head, cloves seperated and crushed but unpeeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
4-4.5 lbs chruck roast, trimmed of silverskin and fat and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
salt & ground black pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/3 c all purpose flour
3 cups of veg stock or chicken stock or water
1 bottle of wine, preferably red burgundy or pinot noir
1 tsp tomato paste
Onion and Mushroom Garnish
36 pearl onions (about 7 oz) [note: frozen work fine]
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 oz white mushrooms, whole, halved, or quartered according to size.
2 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
1. If using salt pork instead of bacon, boil for 2 minutes and drain.
2. Put whole parsley, thyme, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, porcinis in a stockpot or non-reactive dutch oven. [note: the original recipe says to wrap this up into a bundle in cheesecloth, but i usually don't and just strain it all out in the end. I'm forever out of cheesecloth, for some dumb reason.] If you want to cook this in the oven, put the rack in the bottom and turn the oven to 300 degrees F.
3. Set a skillet with the bacon over medium heat; sautée until lightly brown and crisp, around 12 minutes. Remove to your pot or dutch oven; pour off all but 2 tbsp of the rendered fat and reserve. Season your beef chunks with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high, and brown them in a single layer until deep brown. Turn them once or twice. Do this in several batches if you need to, adding more pork fat as needed. Transfer cooked beef into the pot/dutch oven. Deglaze the skillet with a half-cup of water.
4. Return the skillet to medium heat; add butter. When foaming subsides, add flour and cook to a light peanut-butter colored roux. (About 5 minutes.) Gradually whisk in your stock; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. (Congrats! You've just made a thinnish velouté sauce!) Pour mixture into your pot/dutch oven. Add 3 cups of wine, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover and set in oven or turn your gas down to warm, and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours - until the meat is tender.
5. Remove pot from oven/from heat. Use tongs to remove your cheesecloth bundle, if you made one. Put the bundle over a strainer and press out the liquid. Remove the meaty bits with a slotted spoon or your tongs. If you haven't used cheesecloth, strain the liquid into a bowl or another pot. Let it settle, and skim the fat off the top.
6. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to about 3 cups and is the consistancy of heavy cream.
7. While the sauce is reducing, bring the pearl onions, butter, sugar, salt, and a half a cup of water to a boil in a medium skillet over high heat; cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, shaking pan occasionally. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and simmer until all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms & cook, until the liquid released by the mushrooms is gone and the veggies are browned and glazed. Transfer the veggies to a large plate and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a quarfter cup of water. Add this to the reducing sauce.
8. When the sauce has reduced to about 3 cups, and thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, reduce heat to medium low. Stir in beef, mushroom s and onions, the reamining wine from the bottle, and brandy. Cover pot and cook until just heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve with minced parsley sprinkled over each portion.Posted by shock on January 14, 2003 | TrackBack