Monday, May 12, 2014

A variation on a classic beef stew...a stew-viation?

Deb Perelman over at Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite food bloggers.  When she posted her recipe for Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew I knew it was right up my alley, but I also knew I didn't want to buy a bottle of cognac for one recipe (tip: you can always buy the little airplane-sized bottles for recipes like this, but I'm lazy).  I also knew that I prefer other kinds of mustard to Dijon, so I did a little substituting.  

Her recipe calls for the following:
  • 1/4 pound salt pork, pancetta or bacon, diced (I used bacon, then used the crumbles on a salad)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 shallots, chopped (I used a big onion and 1 clove of garlic, diced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, as needed
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour (to make GLUTEN FREE, use corn starch as a substitute)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Cognac (I used bourbon, because, well, it's delicious)
  • 2 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1/2 cup smooth Dijon mustard (I used half regular mustard and half stone-ground for the total amount)
  • 4 tablespoons coarse Dijon or Pommery mustard
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
  • 1/4 cup red wine (funnily enough, I actually had this)
To go with this utterly divine stew, I roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  It made an excellent (and relatively healthy) couple of meals!

I heard it's been snowing and raining in most of the country this week, so you'll want to get this in before the weather heats up again!