2 1/2 lbs. chuck beef cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. carrots, cut into 3/4 in chunks
2 yellow onions, cut in half then sliced
2 t. crushed garlic
1/2 c. Cognac (or Brandy)
2 T. dry sherry
1 (750 ml) bottle of dry, red wine (I like a Cabernet Sauvingnon)
2 c. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1/2 t. dried thyme
4 T. butter at room temperature, divided
3 T. flour
1/2 lb. frozen pearl onions
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large dutch oven, saute bacon over med. heat till lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and cook in bacon grease for 3-5 minutes, cooking in single layer batches, till beef is seared on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and add to the bacon that is set aside.
Now add the carrots and onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the Cognac and sherry. Ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the bacon and beef back into the pot along with any juices that have accumulated. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth to cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring it to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and put in oven for about 1 – 1 1/2 hrs or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
While stew is cooking, saute the mushrooms in 2 T. butter until lightly browned. Set aside.
Combine 2 T. soft butter and flour with a fork and then stir into the stew. Add mushrooms and frozen onions. Bring to a boil on stovetop, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve over thick toasted bread or I’ve even used homemade croutons. Delicious!
Kid-friendly Hint: Cut back on the pearl onions otherwise it’s a big hit.
Adapted from Ina Garten