This take-off on Julia Child’s recipe uses a few shortcuts to make dinner easier. Bacon can be used, but is optional; the recipe’s still great without it! A pressure cooker will cook the meat tender in 40 minutes. Or, a slow cooker or crock pot can be used; meat cooks throughout the day and is ready to use in the recipe by dinner time. Serves 6.
- 2 c. beef broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 1/2 c. red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 lb. boneless chuck roast
- Optional: 6 oz. diced, raw bacon
- Olive oil, as needed, for browning
- 1 onion
- 1 lg. carrot
- 1 lb. mushroooms
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 3 TBS. flour
- 1 TBS. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. salt (or less if using salted broth)
- Potatoes to serve with stew, or 1 lb. wide egg noodles, cooked
1. Begin to get broth hot in oven-proof pot, crock pot, or pressure cooker. Use: > 2 c. beef or chicken broth > 1 1/2 c. red wine > 2 bay leaves
2. Cut into 2″ cubes: > 2 lb. chuck roast
3. Heat a large iron skillet. If using bacon, cook the bacon in the skillet until somewhat browned but still tender: > 6 oz. diced, raw bacon (optional)
4. Pour off some of the bacon fat; add the bacon bits to the hot broth.
5. Brown beef cubes in the same pan, using a little olive oil as needed. Don’t crowd the pan or the beef won’t brown. As pieces get browned, add to oven-proof pot, crock pot, or pressure cooker. Set skillet aside to use for cooking the onions. Use: > the 2 lb. cubed chuck roast
6. Broth/red wine mixture should cover the beef in the pot. Cover the pot; let beef cook until tender. This will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours in a 375 degree oven, or 8 hours or so in a crock pot on low heat, or 40 minutes at medium pressure in a pressure cooker. While beef is cooking, sauté onions in the skillet used to brown the beef. To hot skillet, add: > Olive oil as needed > 1 lg. onion, chopped
7. Turn heat down, cooking onions slowly, until sweet and tender. At this point, the pan of onions can be refrigerated until beef’s done cooking, if using the oven or crock pot. When ready to assemble the dish, continue with remaining steps. To the cooked onions, add: > 3 garlic cloves, minced > 3 TBS. flour > 1 tsp. thyme > salt to taste (1 tsp. or so) > 1 TBS. tomato paste
8. Mix ingredients into the onion until smooth. Set aside.
9. Prepare carrots, cutting into rounds. In separate pan, cook carrots. Add water to the pan, letting them steam some. As they become tender, add olive oil, browning carrots a bit to develop their sweetness. Use: > 1 lg. carrot, sliced into coin-like pieces
10. Add cooked carrots to the onion mixture. Next, sauté mushrooms. Don’t crowd the pan or they won’t brown. Do batches, adding browned mushrooms to the onion/garlic/flour pan. Use: > 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
11. When meat is done, pour some of the liquid into the the pan of veggies/flour. Mix until smooth, then add remaining liquid. Turn pan on and bring almost to a boil, so that the flour thickens it. Cook for 2 minutes. Mixture should look saucy (boil it longer to reduce liquid if it’s too thin).
12. Serve with potatoes, or over cooked pasta; garnish with chopped parsley.