Wednesday, December 17, 2008

made with love

the boy got home from a two-week visit to vietnam on sunday.  i told him i would have dinner ready for him when he got home from the airport and he requested "american" food.  

the following recipe resulted in a delicious beef stew that i served over mashed potatoes.  i cooked this for a really long time (nearly 7 hours).  the result was a very rich and flavorful dish.  you can sacrifice cooking time, but the meat won't be as tender and tasty.  

first stage:

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 shallot - finely chopped
1/8 cup red wine
2 lbs chuck stew beef - cut into cubes
1-1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon coriander
salt and pepper to taste

in large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter on medium-low heat.  slowly add flour, stirring to blend as you add the flour.  once flour is incorporated into the butter (you want the mixture to be reasonably thick), add the shallot and wine.  cook on medium heat until shallot softens (7-9 minutes).

put shallot mixture into a reserve bowl.  melt 1 tablespoon butter and place salted beef cubes in the pot.  brown well on both sides.  add the shallot mixture, cloves, and coriander to the pot and cover beef with water.  simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 1-2 hours - until beef is tender.  (note: make sure when simmering uncovered, that water does not completely evaporate).  remove beef from pot, let cool, and then shred and remove any excess fat.

second stage:

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots - sliced
1 medium onion - chopped
1/8 cup wine
2 cups chicken stock (or beef or veggie stock, i just had chicken on hand)
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

melt butter in the same pot, add carrots and onion and cook on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes.  add wine, cloves, coriander, salt and pepper and bay leaf.  add shredded beef and chicken stock.  let simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours.  the liquid should reduce and the mixture will thicken.

serve over mashed potatoes or cous-cous.

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