Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4: Tuscan Beef Stew

We've been having a lot of beef lately. Tomorrow we're having turkey, and I'll be glad for that. This recipe is from the "Hearty Stews and Chilies" section of the cook book. I started it at about 10:30 this morning. I gathered all these ingredients:

There were some dried porcini mushrooms that I had to rehydrate in 1/2 cup of hot beef broth:

I cooked some bacon in a skillet:

I discarded the bacon grease, added some olive oil, and cooked the beef in the oil:

I transferred the beef to the crockpot, added the crumbled bacon, chopped porcini mushrooms, 3 cups of sliced assorted mushrooms (I used button, oyster, shiitake, and portobello), 1 cup of frozen pearl onions, 1 cup of sliced baby carrots, 1 cup of red wine, 1 can of diced tomatoes with garlic,  1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Over that I poured the broth from the mushrooms, being careful not to pour in the sediment from the bottom of the bowl:

That cooked for 7 hours on low. Then I combined 2 tbsp each of flour and butter to make a paste:

I added half of it to the stew, let it cook for 15 minutes, then added the other half and let that cook for 15 more minutes to thicken it up. Here is what it looked like when it was all done:

I cooked up some rigatoni and served the stew on top:

This stew doesn't look so good in the photo, but I can assure you, it is delicious! I absolutely loved it, possibly even better than the chuck and stout soup. Maybe because this has pasta with it. :) Hubby liked it all except for the pearl onions and the mushrooms. He's sick of mushrooms by now. I admit the mushrooms were overpowering in the last recipe, but the variety in this one was great, and they were also scarcer. It had a really good balance. So this is the closest I'll probably ever get to Tuscany.

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