Beef stew, also known as beef bourguignon, is good, but boring–and we personally think it tastes like straight up sour wine and that is not very tasty, especially by the spoonful. So we’ve added a bit of balsamic vinegar and raisins to counter the sour with a bit of sweet. We’re also swirling in a nice, briny, herbal pesto to brighten up the braise. Another change, we’re not using a crock pot! The dutch oven allows liquid to evaporate from the pot, thus creating a thicker, more intense flavored stew. And heck, I would rather eat in 2 hours than in 6 hours, agreed?
- 2 T fat of your choice
- 2 lb. chuck shoulder, cubed
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 3/4 c raisins
- (1) 28 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 c red wine
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon, sliced and seeds removed
For the Pesto
- 1 handful of basil leaves
- 1/2 handful of mint leaves
- 1/2 c green olives (about 20)
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a dutch oven melt your fat. Salt and pepper the cubed chuck pieces, add them to the pot and let them brown on each side. Don’t fidget with them or remove them until you see a visible brown crust on the meat. Remove and reserve on a plate. To the pot, add the onion, garlic and carrot. Let them sweat and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the meat back to the pot, along with the tomatoes, raisins, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Top with sliced lemons.
Lay a piece of parchment paper of the the top of the pot and press it down into the pot. Place in the oven and braise for 2 hours. Taste the meat, it should be super tender, if it’s not give it another half hour or so.
Once you’re about 10 minutes from the stew finishing; combine all the ingredients for the pesto in a mini food processor. Pulse until everything has come together.
When the stew is out of the oven, take the lemon rinds out, but leave in the flesh…it’ll separate very easily. Swirl in the pesto and serve.[/print_this]