This time of year also means a change in cooking habits. Pointedly, making more soups and stews. Today, I'm sharing my recipe for a beef that's slow cooked in wine. This is my lazy adaptation to a traditional Beef Bourguinon.
*This is not a slow-cooker recipe, though you could use one if you aren't home all day to monitor your cooktop or oven. Turn it down to low too cook about 8-9 hours. Be sure to follow your slow cooker's own instructions for an all day cooking time.
This recipe is very easy. Most of the work is in the cutting of the ingredients. There's no precooking or browning. Just dump everything into the pot and simmer for a few hours. Like a dump cake, but savory :-D
2kg/appr 4.5 pounds of Bavette or Skirt Steak (chuck or stewing beef is OK too), rough cut into largish chunks (4-5cm/appr 2in or so)
2 large white onions, de-skinned and rough cut (yellow onions are OK too, but not purple)
1 large carrot, peeled and rough cut into similar size as the onion
1 large fresh beet, peeled and rough cut as above (do not use precooked or pickled...fresh!) (I used a Candy Beet, hence the stripes)
2-3 large cloves of fresh garlic (to taste) (if you must, use granulated, but not powder or garlic salt)
2 tablespoons mixed herbs (I was out so used sage and thyme here)
1/2-1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (season to taste)
2 whole chipotle chilies
1 container of good beef stock (pouch or canned, preferably homemade)
equal measure of water to stock
2 beef stock cubes
half bottle of good red wine (I prefer Malbec but merlot works great too...use half in the stew and serve the other half with dinner!) (Most often, I use Barefoot wines when I cook, as they're affordable and very tasty, AND from my home state of California. You know the saying, If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it!)
Dump everything into your pot and stir well.
Cover and turn on the stove to high to get the liquid warm and you can see some steam coming off the top of the liquid (you don't want it to boil), then turn it down to low and leave it for at least three hours. *I start the heating on the big burner then move the pot to the small burner for slow cooking.
It should take about 3-4 hours until the meat is super tender and literally cuts with a spoon. You might even find it falls apart as you're ladling it into your bowl.
*If you use a slow cooker, as above, refer to manufacturer settings for an all day cooking time.
Serve with warm, crusty bread (I prefer sourdough), or with creamy mashed potatoes.
This recipe makes approximately 6-8 servings depending on your appetite.
This freezes well so you can make a big pot in advance and divide into servings to freeze and thaw later. You can reheat in the microwave.
Stay warm this winter season with a wonderful, hearty beef stew!