It was a quiet Saturday afternoon staying in, smelling the stew bubbling in the pot while I tidied around the flat. Red wine, the deep smell of beef, thyme, and bay leaves drifted to me every few minutes. I knew that I could turn that casserole beef into juicy, tender stew with the help of I Know How to Cook. It's an easy recipe that just simmers away for several hours on low heat.
We had friends coming around that evening, so we would be a party of four (and the recipe is meant to serve six). But it only calls for 600 mL of liquid in total, so I was a bit concerned it might bubble away to nothing. So I put the lid mostly on, and since I was nearby, I looked in on the stew every half hour. I'm glad I did, since by the time two hours rolled around I just had to add a splash of water. Things were beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. And it just barely served four adults.
But, as I'm coming to expect from this cookbook, the recipe produced delicious results. There was a very rich flavour that was very warming and hearty. This stew was comfort food at its best.
adapted from I Know How to Cook
serves 6, allegedly
60 g button onions or shallots, peeled, whole or halved
100 g bacon lardons
700 g stewing beef, cut into pieces
30 g (1/4 c) flour
300 mL any stock, hot
300 mL red wine
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
100 g (about 5) mushrooms, quartered
In a heavy pan, fry the onions and bacon until light brown.
Remove from the pan and add the beef and fry until brown. Sprinkle the flour over the beef, stir for a minute, then add the stock, wine, bouquet garni, salt and pepper, and onion and bacon.
Simmer on a low heat for two hours.
Add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 30 minutes.