Do you have a pet peeve about the cold?
I have two, in fact. One when I’m outside, and one when I’m inside. Outside, I want to cry and scream (and sometimes do) when my ears ache because of a cold wind. Inside, I go through slippers like no one’s business, trying to keep my feet toasty. If you don’t know, I grew up in California and North Carolina – neither of which are particularly cold states… A brief stint at college in Chicago was definitely a shock to my system! To combat the feelings of numbness in my toes as I write this, I’ll share with you another cold-weather dish I love, which is a much better option than saying one more word about my ratty slippers.
The recipe below for a Beef Stew is my take on Doris Greenspan’s Go To Beef Daube. Who is Dorie, you ask? Think Julia Child, minus the tv show. Her cookbook, Around My French Table has been a staple in my kitchen for achievable recipes of amazing french food. This one is super easy – if you can slice an onion (okay, no easy feat if you tear up like me, so check out these tips) and uncork a bottle of wine (hey, if you can’t do that, stick to the screw-top kind)… You can make this meal. Just be sure to leave plenty of in-the-oven-time into your meal planning.
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into cubes with most of fat removed
- 1 pounds spare ribs, cut into cubes with most of fat removed
- 5 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into short sticks
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into short sticks
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 750 ml red wine (1 bottle - I prefer a full bodied bordeaux, or malbec)
- ¼ cup cognac
- 6 mushrooms, sliced
- salt & pepper
- Fry the pancetta in a large oven-safe pot that has a lid (such as a dutch oven)
- Drain pan and add olive oil
- Next pat the meat dry with paper towels and then brown the meat in batches, and remove it from the pan to plate and season with salt and pepper
- Add shallots and onion to the pan and sauté until they are beginning to soften
- Add carrots and parsnips, stirring together to coat vegetables in the oily onions
- Add cognac and use a spatula to scrape up the yummy bits from the bottom to deglaze the pan, let the liquid simmer of a few minutes
- Add meat, rosemary, and the whole bottle of wine (pour carefully, I've made some nasty stains on my t-shirts with this one!) into the pot, stirring to incorporate.
- Let the liquid come to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat, cover with aluminum foil, and then place the lid on top to firmly seal the pot.
- Cook in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the lid and foil. Stir in mushrooms, and if the stew looks dry, add some water (you shouldn't need this step if you have a good seal with your foil and lid).
- Finish cooking in the oven for a final 90 minutes or so, until the meat is fork-tender.
Even if you can’t find a warm blanket and a fireplace, this beef stew should do the trick to warm you up!