A recipe for Jacques Pepin’s Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
It’s back, people! The inspiration to continue the blog has returned to me after making this recipe and just knowing I couldn’t keep it for myself. It had to be shared and the blog continues. I’m finally on the mend after being mauled by a bear for two months. Okay so it wasn’t anything like that, but I’m happily back in my own kitchen after two months of being in and out of the hospital.
I have made a number of beef stews in my lifetime. Whether it was from a Real Simple Magazine recipe, a recipe from Williams-Sonoma, or Julia Child’s famous recipe; on the stovetop, in the oven, I have tried it all. I am now offering the best sauce creation even without stock, demiglace or more than a tablespoon of butter. This stew has no equal. Jacques Pepin’s mother was the chef of a restaurant herself, and this sauce was a characteristic of her own cooking.
It may seem a bit excessive to use a bottle of wine, but once the wine has burned off in the oven you were left with a gravy-like consistency that is just a touch salty and sweet with a taste of earth from the onions and garlic. Basically, it’s heavenly. I’ve made my own version of this recipe for just the two of us without using a slow cooker, and I can assure you it is totally divine. I hope you will give it a try.
Stewed beef with a red wine sauce
The total duration of the event was 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- One tablespoon of unsalted butter
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 pieces of two pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck
- Grated fresh black pepper
- finely chopped 1 cup onions
- Finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon
- A tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- You need one 750-ml bottle of red wine (Tawny Port or Merlot are best).
- Two bay leaves
- Two thyme sprigs
- One five-ounce piece of pancetta
- Peeled 15 pearl or cipollini onions
- Fifteen cremini mushrooms, sliced thick
- Fifteen baby carrots, peeled
- Three yellow potatoes, halved, then each half quartered
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or rosemary
Follow the directions:
- Put the meat in a solid-bottom bowl, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer over the butter in a pretty large casserole or dutch oven. Heat the butter and oil over moderate heat, turning the meat occasionally, until evenly browned, about 8 minutes.
- It should take approximately 5 minutes to soften the onion. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat. Season with salt and pepper, add the wine and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- The casserole should be covered and the stew should be cooked for 1 1/2 hours in the oven, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.
- Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then slice the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons. While that’s happening, add 2 cups of water to a saucepan, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- The pancetta, onions, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil should be combined in a heavy skillet. Add 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. A thick sauce will result. Cook until almost all of the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes, covered and tossing halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
- To serve, stir some of the vegetables and bacon into the stew and sprinkle the remainder on top as a garnish. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve.