A desperate cook on weekends (who is missing a fully functional kitchen) and an Associate Professor the rest of the week, this blog chronicles my weekend culinary adventures in my hometown and the food I feed my family who scratches their heads when I make something unusual.
I've made this beef stew a number of times and it always turns out great. The first time I ever made it was to celebrate the graduation of a friend's daughter. As suggested in the recipe, I served it with wide egg noodles but I've also served it with rice pilaf, plain rice and french bread and it was still a great pairing. The other thing that I like about this dish is that it is versatile enough that you can exchange the mushroom with pearl onions if you so desire. Or, another option is to use both which I've also done as well. The cooking process is a bit involved but the stew is definitely worth the effort. I encourage you to give it a try.
Beef and Mixed Mushroom Stew - Adapted*
1 package dried porcini mushroom (½ oz)
2 lbs beef for stew, cut into 1½ inch chunks
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb mushroom (cremini) or pearl onions
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup dry red wine
2 medium carrots, diced into large chunks
salt and pepper
¼ tsp thyme
chopped parsley (for garnish)
1. Reconstitute the porcini mushroom in 1 cup boiling water for about
30 minutes. Set aside.
2. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and set aside.
3. In a large pot, heat the oil at medium high heat and add the
mushrooms (or onions) and cook for about 10 minutes until
lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
4. In the same pot, brown the meat on all sides. Do this in batches and
add more oil if necessary. Transfer the meat to another bowl and set
5. To drippings in the pot, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and diced
onions and lower the heat to medium. Cook until the garlic and
onions are lightly browned. Add the red wine to deglaze the pot.
Let it simmer for about a minute.
6. Return the meat into the pot. Add the chicken broth, the liquid used
to reconstitute the porcini (strained through a sieve) and the tomato
paste. Heat to boiling and let simmer covered for two hours or until
the meat is tender.
7. Add the mushrooms (softened porcini and cremini), carrots and
onions if using and check for flavor. Simmer for 30 minutes more
and adjust the flavor accordingly. If desired, you can also skim off
the fat depending on how fatty the cut of beef that you used.
8. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with your choice of pasta or
* Good Housekeeping Step-By-Step Main Dishes: Hearst Books, New York,1999