Beef Stew with a Twist

A perfect cold night dish, pure comfort food.

(original post)

Beef Stew with a Twist

4 # boneless beef short ribs
2 T vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1/2 # Pork belly or bacon, diced
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2″ pieces
1 # crimini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 bunch of carrots, cut into thumb sized pieces
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 ribs of celery, cut into 2″ pieces
1 bottle of dry red wine, preferably a Cabernet Sauvignon (I used Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon)
bottle of Guinness beer
a bay leaf
1/2 c chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, parsley – any mixture of your choosing but 1/2 of the mixture should be parsley)
3 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T flour
1/2 c additional chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Sprinkle the beef with Kosher salt.  In a large heavy pot or a dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil and brown the meat well on all sides in batches and remove to a dish.  For me, this took a total of 45 minutes.  Take your time and do it right.

When the beef is browned and removed, add the pork belly to the pan and cook until rendered but not crisp.  Remove to a dish.  Add the mushrooms and squash and brown those well.  Add remaining ingredients (minus a glass of the wine for the cook) and the reserved beef and bacon.  Add a little salt and pepper, and the herbs.   Place the lid on the pan and place in oven to simmer gently for 3 hours.

The beef will be very tender.  The squash and the onion will have almost disappeared. Place the pan on medium heat and return to a gentle simmer.  Make a beurre manie,  a paste of soft butter and flour mixed together in a small bowl with a fork.  Whisk small balls of the beurre manie into the simmering stew, until the stew is pleasantly thick.  You may not need all of the beurre manie.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then add remaining additional parsley and serve.

My Twitter friends suggest serving with mashed potatoes or soft polenta.  You could also make dumplings.

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