Cognac and Beef Stew with Polenta

I love stew! This is fall comfort food, tangy and flavorful. It can be served over noodles or Polenta. I served leftovers over some couscous. I adapted this recipe from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. The Pancetta is used to put a little flavor and fat into the dish and not used in the actual dish but it is yummy in Eggs, or salads.

IMG_1507

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter, as needed
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 3 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1/2 cup smooth Dijon mustard
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
  • 1 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine

IMG_1504

Place pancetta in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and save for another use. Raise heat to medium-low, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season lightly with salt and more generously with pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and any crusted-on bits come loose. Add stock, smooth Dijon mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, cover pan partway, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

Add carrots, and continue simmering for 40 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender. Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot over polenta or noodles.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s