this recipe is going to seem long but that actual stew part of it is super quick to throw together, you just need the time to let it slow cook for a few hours so don’t be intimidated! you’re going to want to make this again (and again and again!). one of my favorite parts of this dish is how versatile it is and that you don’t really need to measure all that much, it’s very forgiving and not something to stress over. you can serve it with potatoes or gnocchi like we did, the gnocchi takes a bit longer but it’s a nice addition as it feels like a take on chicken and dumplings.
to make the stew//
• 2 lbs beef chuck or bone in short ribs
• 1/2-1 bottle wine, pinot noir or similar style (pick something you like to drink!)
• 2 cups beef broth
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 carrots
• 2 celery stalks
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1 yellow or white onion
• 3-4 smashed cloves of garlic
• herbs such as bay leaf, thyme, sage, parsley stems, etc.
• pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
• heat your dutch oven on medium heat, once VERY hot, add a bit of oil and swirl. salt the meat, put in the pan and then brown the on all sides, you’ll probably have to do this in two batches, once browned, remove and set aside. make sure you hear that sizzle sound.
• add the chopped onion into the pan with a sprinkle of salt, as the onions start to release their juices you should be able to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of of the pan. cook until the onions are translucent.
• add the chopped carrots and mix for a couple of minutes and then the celery. wait 2-3 minutes and add the tomato paste. you want to make sure you cook the tomato paste so that you kill any acidic flavor in the past. this takes about a minute constantly stirring.
• add the meat back onto the pot and sprinkle the flour over the entire mixture, stir and let the flour get a little brown and fragrant. the flour is what is will help to thicken the broth.
• once the mixture is toasted, add the wine and stir, removing any cooked parts on the bottom of the pan. add about 1/2 cup broth. you want your meat to be submerged about 80% and 20% above the liquid. add another pinch of salt, a bay leaf, some thyme and a few parsley stems and the garlic. bring to a boil. once it hits a boil, turn the heat off, cover and put into the oven at 350. you’re going to want to cook for about 3-4 hours, checking every 45 minutes to see if you should add more liquid.
• when checking the stew, you’re wanting to make sure that there is still enough liquid in the pan as some of it will cook off. if too much as evaporated, you can add more broth or wine.
• after a few hours the meat will become verrrry tender, will rip apart easily, fall off the bone goodness.
to serve with//
• 1 russet potato, boiled and peeled
• 2 cups 00 flour (this is a super fine flour!)
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon salt
• take the cooked and peeled potato and grate it on the finest side of your grater. this will make sure there are no major lumps in your dough.
• place the potato in a bowl and add the egg, salt and 1/2 cup of the flour. start mixing lightly with your hand. adding more flour as needed, you don’t want it to be sticky. the trick here is to not over mix it, you should be kneading the dough, you want it to just be full combined.
• keep adding flour until it’s no longer sticky and and you can form it into a ball.
• lightly dust your counter with flour, and take half the dough and roll it into a thin line, using a kitchen scraper or a knife cut the gnocchi into pieces and place on a floured baking sheet.
• boil a medium size pot of salted water, once boiling put the gnocchi in the water, it should take about 3 minutes to cook and you’ll know it’s done once it floats to the surface.
• once cooked, remove and set aside to drain. heat a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, once hot, add the gnocchi, removing them around constantly, add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the stew and let that evaporate. turn the heat off, add a tablespoon of butter and use a spoon to baste.
• 3 strips of bacon
• 10 pearl onions, skins removed.
• 3 cup mushrooms washed and sliced
• cut the bacon into 1/4 in piece and render by placing them in a small pan on medium/low heat. cook until crispy. remove the bacon and add the sliced mushrooms into the bacon fat and let them sit there for a minute or two untouched so they brown up. then add a pinch of salt, stir around, and cook the mushrooms until brown, about 5 minutes. remove the mushrooms and add the onions into the same pan, add more oil if needed. once they are warm add 2 tablespoons white sugar and toss them to coat, this will caramelize the onions. you can cook as long as you like, the more time the better. but i think about 5-10 mins is great.
• set the bacon, mushrooms and onions out in 3 different dishes.
for plating //
• you have two choices, you can serve the stew as is, in it’s sauce with the garnishes and gnocchi all mixed in. or, you can strain the sauce so you remove everything and just have the gravy. if you do this open you’d serve everything separately, start by putting a piece of the beef in the bowl, place the gnocchi around it, sprinkle the mushrooms, bacon and onion around and top with the gravy. this is the more “fine dining” way to serve but totally up to you!
photos by: Ivan solis
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