Beef and Shallot Stew

Winter months just call for a good stew. This is a recipe that I’ve had for a long time from Real Simple that I just think of every so often – Beef and Shallot Stew. I don’t/can’t eat beef, so I replace it with wild game. I’ve normally had venison but this time I found Wild Boar at Sprouts. It’s generally easier to have whole pieces of meat vs. ground, but sometimes you have to work with what you have.

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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chuck meat, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces, or 4 pounds pre-cut stew meat
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions

1) Heat oven to 300° F. Season the beef with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add some of the beef to the pot and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.
2) Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom, for 3 minutes.
3) Return the beef to the pot along with the shallots and broth. Bring to a boil. Skim any foam. Add the thyme. Cover and transfer to oven until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Spoon into individual bowls.

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Since I used ground meat, I didn’t need to cook the stew for nearly as long (can be a fraction of the time until the meat is cooked and onion are to the ‘softness’ you want). I serve it with some great French bread and green salad. Perfect for a cold day. Also pairs well with red wine. Cheers!

“It just doesn’t taste the same.”

There are those things or that dish that can be so easy/basic/simple to make that just don’t taste the same unless a specific person makes them.  From spaghetti & meatballs to apple pie to chocolate chip cookies.  Many times those thoughts comes from people who don’t cook, but it can come for those of us who love the kitchen.

My favorite dish to pin this thought to is my friend’s ceviche.  It’s like a comfort food to me (that food/dish in general).  She’s from Costa Rica and they/she just have/has magical ceviche hands, or something to that effect.  All that’s in the dish is white fish, onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice…and patience.  For the juice, she hand squeezes every…single…lime.  And, her ceviche must sit overnight (some recipes vary).

I make ceviche every so often and it never, ever, ever tastes the same, just because it’s not HER ceviche.  I’m likely missing the patience part.  I have been enjoying this the past few meals and just keep smiling.  Muchisimas gracias amiga!

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