Makes about 5 quarts-preparation time including stove-top browning is 1½hour. Total oven cooking time is 2½ hours. Please refer to A Hearty Stew for Those Chilly Autumn and Winter Nights for some preparation tips.
1 cup of flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
5-6 lb. roast (bottom round is an excellent choice) cut into cubes of about 1¼ – 1½ inches
½ cup of canola oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cups of Pinot Noir or red Burgundy wine
1 quart of beef stock
2 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed to 1½ inches
24 pearl onions (about 1 lb.) outer skin peeled (see step 1 below)
1 16 oz, package of baby carrots
¼ cup of each of coarsely chopped fresh sage and fresh thyme
1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns, crushed
1¼ lbs. cremini mushrooms, stems removed, large caps halved or quartered
1 small (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1. Prepare the onions – bring small pot of water to boil, blanch onions for 30 seconds, rinse and cool, cut off root end and peel outer skin layer.
2. In the meantime, peel and cube the potatoes, prepare the mushrooms and chop the herbs and garlic.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Add flour, salt and pepper to a gallon size Ziploc® bag.
5. Add beef, about 10 pieces at a time, to bag and shake well to coat with flour.
6. Heat canola oil in a large casserole, preferably enamel coated cast iron French or Dutch Oven.
7. Add the floured beef cubes to the casserole and brown them in one layer without crowding, for 8 or so minutes on high heat, turning the cubes several times.
8. Remove browned beef and set aside, add more beef cubes and continuing browning until all the beef is done. If beef sticks to the casserole, or the flour base begins to burn, add a bit more oil.
9. Add the garlic and lightly brown in the remaining oil and fat.
10. Add one cup of wine and with a spatula, deglaze the pot. Add a second cup of wine and continue deglazing.
11. When the second cup of wine has boiled down for about 1 minute, return all of the meat to the casserole to coat it well. Reduce heat to medium.
12. Add beef broth and stir well, cover and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, stir well, cover and place in the pre-heated oven for ½ hour.
13. Add the remaining three cups of wine and the onions, stir well and return to oven covered for another ½ hour.
14. Add the carrots, herbs and black pepper, stir well and return covered to the oven, for a third ½ hour.
15. Add the mushrooms and return covered to the oven an additional ½ hour.
16. Add the tomato paste and return to oven uncovered for a final half hour ½ hour.
When ready to serve the stew, serve it with a crust baguette and a good red wine, such as a Brunello de Montalcino.