Parker's Beef Stew (Serves 6)
Copyright 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
2½ pounds good-quality chuck beef, cut into 1¼-inch cubes
1 (750-ml) bottle good red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1½-inch chunks
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 (14 ½-ounce) can beef stock
1 large branch fresh rosemary
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (not petit pois)
Place the beef in a bowl with the red wine, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Cover the bowl and marinate the beef in the refrigerator overnight.
Brown the bacon in a large (12-inch) sauté pan for 5 to 7 minutes, over medium-low heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a Dutch oven. Combine 2 cups of the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper in a bowl. Lift the beef out of the marinade and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the beef cubes in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess. In the same sauté pan, brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place the browned beef in the Dutch oven with the bacon and brown the remaining beef. Add the second batch to the Dutch oven.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Lower the heat under the sauté pan to medium-low, add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes, adding olive oil if necessary. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Place all the vegetables in the Dutch oven with the beef. Add 2½ cups of the reserved marinade (discard the rest) to the sauté pan and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 275 degrees.
When the stew is done and the meat is tender, discard the rosemary branch. Ladle 1 cup of the pan juices into a bowl and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Pour it back into the stew, stir gently, and simmer for 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.