Food

This beef stew with porcini mushrooms and red wine almost makes winter ok

Make it in a Dutch oven, slow cooker or Instapot… but definitely make it soon.

Make it in a Dutch oven, slow cooker or Instapot… but definitely make it soon

(Photo: David Bagosy; Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

In the heart of winter in Canada, even the toughest of us rely on ’a few of our favourite things: February-edition’, to get us through. That favourite but very heavy wool sweater is one of them. A stew like this is another. Instructions below for how to make it in a Dutch oven, Instapot and slow-cooker too, all of those favourite winter fuel gadgets.

Red Wine Beef Stew

By Josie Malevich

Pancetta and dried mushrooms boost the flavour of this red wine stew that can be made in a Dutch oven, pressure cooker or slow cooker. Note: For all methods, potatoes, carrots, green beans and peas can all be parboiled ahead and stirred into stew to reheat to avoid overcooking.

Ingredients

  • ½ oz (7 g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 4 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups good quality beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lbs baby potatoes, halved if large
  • 1 lb carrots, cut into large chunks, or bunch baby carrots, trimmed
  • ½ lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Baguette, for serving (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Pour ½ cup boiling water over the dried mushrooms; let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the steeping liquid.

Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Heat a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the pieces to a paper towel to drain some of the fat.

Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot, and add 1 tablespoon of butter and oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Cook the meat in batches until browned all over, about 8 to 10 minutes, adding remaining butter as needed. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, celery, garlic and rosemary to the pot and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over top and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the beef stock, red wine, tomato paste and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Add the beef and pancetta back to the pot. Stir in the dried mushrooms and the steeping liquid. Cover and bake for 2 hours or until the beef is just tender.

Stir in the potatoes and carrots. Cover and transfer back to oven. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is tender enough to cut with a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes more.

Add the green beans and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until tender, about 2 minutes more. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

Remove the bay leaves and stir in the parsley just before serving. Serve with baguette.

Instapot/Multi-function cooker variation:

Brown the pancetta and the stewing meat in a large skillet, as per the instructions above.

Add the browned pancetta and stewing meat to the multi-function cooker. Add the onion, celery, garlic, reconstituted dried mushrooms, bay leaves and rosemary. Pour in the red wine and beef stock. Place lid on, lock and seal into position. Pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and manually release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully remove the lid.

Add the potatoes and carrots. Place the lid back on and lock and seal into position. Pressure cook for 10 minutes or until the meat is fork tender and the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat and manually release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully remove the lid.

Set the multi-function cooker to a saute setting over medium heat. Whisk together the flour and reserved mushroom steeping liquid until smooth and then whisk in the tomato paste. Slowly stir into the stew. Cook, uncovered, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the green beans. Cook until sauce is thickened and green beans are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Garnish with parsley when serving.

Slow cooker variation:

Brown the pancetta and the stewing meat in a large skillet, as per the instructions above.

Add the pancetta, stewing meat, onion, celery, garlic, reconstituted dried mushrooms, bay leaves and rosemary to the slow cooker. Whisk together the flour and the reserved mushroom steeping liquid until smooth. Whisk in the tomato paste, red wine and 1 ¼ cups of beef stock. Pour into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, adding the potatoes and carrots half way through the cook time. Cook until the meat and vegetables are tender. Add cooked green beans and peas to stew. Garnish with parsley when serving.

Servings: Makes 4-6 servings

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