Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Family Valentine's Dinner- Beef Stew

Last year around Valentine's Day I was looking at the Williams-Sonoma website and noticed they had a family Valentine's Day dinner and decided to try it. We all cooked it together and had a lot of fun. I just happened to be in Salt Lake the week before and had never heard of veal demi-glace. I went to the Williams Sonoma store up there and to my surprise when I got to the register it was $39 for a very small bottle. Needless to say I ended up omitting it and it still tasted great to me.
Their serving suggestion was cheddar corn bread wedges and a chocolate chip cake which I will try and post later.

Beef Stew
5 1/2 lb. chuck eye roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 oz. pancetta, cut into smal dice
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in rounds
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup full bodied red wine (you can replace with cooking wine or extra beef broth)
2 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp. veal demi-glace
Buttered parsleyed noodles for serving
Minced fresh flat- leaf parsley for garnish
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the pancetta until browned and crip, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spooon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the beef to a large bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the olive oil. Add the onions and carrots and saute until almost softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and saute for about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the stock, demi-glace and the reserved pancetta and bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pan, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender, 2-2 1/2 hours.

Remove the bay leaves and discard. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve the stew over buttered parsley noodles (just egg noodles tossed with a little butter and some fresh chopped parsley) and garnish with parsley. Serves 8-10. They served this with Cheddar corn bread wedges and a chocolate chip cake which I will post later
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