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French Beef Stew


  • 2 pounds beef (chuck, rump or brisket), trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 small pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 12 mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter mixed with 2 tablespoons flour
  • Chopped parsley

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  1. In a large bowl combine beef chunks, wine, bay leaf, cloves, onion and garlic. Toss together to coat meat, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.
  2. In a large heavy pot, melt butter and cook off bacon until just crispy and set aside to drain.
  3. Scoop beef from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Toss in a bowl with flour to coat. Shake off excess flour. Add the floured beef to the pot and cook until nicely browned.
  4. Stir in the onion and garlic from the marinade, as well as the thyme, stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
  5. Peel the pearl onions and trim off a little bit of the root end.
  6. Melt butter in a small skillet and add pearl onions. Toss to coat and pour in 1/4 cup of water and cover. Simmer until tender. Uncover and allow liquid to evaporate.
  7. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon sugar and shake pan over medium heat until onions begin to brown and caramelize.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. In another skillet melt 3 tablespoons butter and cook mushrooms until golden brown.
  10. Stir in crispy bacon bits and season with salt and pepper.
  11. When the beef is tender, remove meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Simmer sauce until thickened and stir in flour/butter mixture to help thicken.
  12. Season sauce to taste.
  13. Return beef to pot and bring stew to a boil.
  14. Serve hot with boiled potatoes, pearl onions, mushrooms and garnish with chopped parsley.

Posted by liz at Recipe Goldmine April 29, 2001.