But when I posted that I made it tonight, a few people asked for the recipe. So here it is, as best as I can actually recollect it. It’s so super easy and it’s THE best thing ever on a cold, gray winter night.
2.5 pounds or so of chuck roast, cut into big cubes (1.5″ or so? Maybe 2″?)
1 pound of carrots, peeled and chopped into big 1.5″ in chunks
1 pound of potatoes, chopped into big chunks. I like Yukon Gold
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 medium onion, chopped
Cipollini onions (the ones from my store come in a little net bag, maybe a cup or two?), peeled
2 bay leaves
1 bottle dry red wine (please don’t cook with something you wouldn’t drink out of a glass)
1 TBSP tomato paste
1-2 cups chicken or beef stock, whatever you have
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried thyme, but you can also certainly use fresh
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of frozen peas
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cut up the beef into chunks and toss in a bowl with the flour. Heat a good, heavy dutch oven with some olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes in two batches, letting the outside get all that delicious brown-y yummy goodness. Pull the beef out and set it aside.
Toss in the carrots, potatoes and chopped onion into the pan, reduce the heat to medium and saute the veggies for about 10 minutes until they just get a touch caramelized. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the entire bottle of wine, toss in the bay leaves and herbs, add stock so that it just covers all the beef and veggies in the pot. Bring it to a gentle boil over the stovetop and be sure to get that wooden spoon down in there and scrape up all the good bits from the bottom.
Pop the entire thing in the oven for about 2 hours, stirring once or twice midway through. If you’re at a boil instead of a simmer in the oven, reduce the heat to 250 or 275 to keep things simmering gently but not boiling like crazy.
Sautee the cipollini onions in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat until they’re nice and golden brown. Set them aside, you’ll add them at the very end. Sometimes I’ll also saute some mushrooms if I have them (I like Creminis for this but whatever you have is fine).
If you prefer your potatoes to stay a bit firmer in your stew, you can add them in during the last hour instead of cooking them on the stove and adding them in at the beginning. If you’re using a waxier potato, like a red one or a fingerling, they might need a bit of extra time. You just have to kind of wing this part based on how you prefer it. I wouldn’t use regular russet potatoes in this dish. They pretty much just disintegrate and lend a weird, grainy texture to the gravy.
Pull the stew out of the oven, stir in a handful or two of frozen peas, the cipollini onions you browned and the mushrooms or whatever else, and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Toss in the chopped parsley at the last minute right before you serve. It’ll easily feed a crowd. I don’t know how to cook in small quantities, I’m afraid.
It just gets better the longer it sits, so leftovers the next day are heaven. And it freezes beautifully.