There is a thousand ways to cook up a beef stew, this one calls for plenty of red wine and a better cut of beef, without compromise! Instead of the usual stew grade of beef, we use either a rib roast or a rib-eye cut to get a richer meat taste while retaining the flavor enhancing fat. Included is a party version for 25 guests where the ingredients measures and proportions can help you fine tune the seasonings for the small version.
Ingredients - 4 servings:
- 2 lbs / 1kg of well marbled quality beef or a rib roast or rib-eye cut. The meat near the rib is the best for a tasty stew.
- 1/2 cup / 1.5 dl Sauce claire - Cubes from the store also called "Au Jus"
- 2 cups / 5 dl Red wine - Bordeaux or Sangiovese for a hardy stew, Pinot Noir for more aroma.
- Half an onion - Small or large to your preference, Thais like shallots instead.
- 3/4 cup / 300-400 g of carrots - Small ones are best.
- 1/2 cup / 200-300 g of mushrooms - Any kind.
- Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Savory.
- Freshly chopped Parsley.
- Garlic, Salt and Pepper.
- Flour to brown the meat.
Ingredients - Party size (25):
- 10-12 lbs / 5 kg beef (see above).
- 3 cups / 7 dl Sauce claire - Cubes from the store also called "Au Jus"
- 2 liter Red wine - note that a standard bottle is 7.5 dl. not 1 liter!.
- 2-3 onions - or 6 shallots if you serve Thais :)
- 5 lbs / 2 kg of carrots - Small ones are best.
- 4 lbs / 1.5 - 2 kg fresh mushrooms - Can be any kind, or a mix.
- 1 tbsp each dry Rosemary and Oregano - but fresh is always best.
- 1 tsp each dry Basil and Thyme - but fresh is always best.
- 1 tsp dry Savory optional - Americans and Brits like it.
- 1 cup freshly chopped Parsley.
- 1/2 head Garlic.
- 1 tsp Salt, 2 tsp Black Pepper.
- Flour to brown the meat.
- Cut larger cubes as they retain their juices better, like 2 inches / 5 cm cubes. However bite-size cubes are more practical for the party version so that you can skip the knives.
- Brown the meat in a heavy frying pan in very small batches (6-8 pieces) to keep the pan temperature high. Else the juices run out before the meat is seared.
- Place all the seared meat into a large pot (cast-iron pot like Le Creuset works best), sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour and stir to coat evenly.
- Add Sauce Claire, wine, onion or shallots, carrots and all the seasoning.
- Cook on low for 1 hour semi-covered (to reduce some liquid). Stir often!
- Then add the remaining ingredients: mushrooms, parsley and garlic.
- Cook on low for another 30 minutes. By now the volume should have reduced by a quarter to a third.
If you can plan ahead
Let cool and refrigerate overnight. The sauce will gel better and the meat will pick up more seasoning flavor.
You can freeze your stew, but you will lose some herb strength. Upon warming up, you will need to add some wine to smooth the mix and a dash of Tabasco to boost flavors back up.