COOKING with STEVIE
Beef stew is a hearty dish that combines veggies and meat all in one. The classic French Beef Bourguignon adds a twist in that the meat is cooked in red wine. As usual I take a traditional dish and make it my own. Above I am serving the stew over a slice of bread with strips of cheese melted on it. Bread and stew is a combo that is perfect together.
I start with beef that has a large amount of marrow in the bone. Here a beef shank.
Roast the meat until brown. This step adds a nice flavor and speeds up the overall process.
Cut the meat off the bone. They are about to go their separate ways.
Braise (which just really means boil) the meat in a red wine of your choice. Just make sure the wine is one you would otherwise drink. If the wine is bad, your sauce will end up bad. You want to cook the meat until it is soft and falls apart easily.
At the same time boil the bones in water until the marrow pretty much dissolves. This will take hours. Watch how much water you have in the pot. You don't want it to boil dry, but at the end you want to reduce it quite a bit, not only for the flavor, but so it will fit into a container like a tupperware after you have discarded the bones.
Refrigerate the stock you made with the bones overnight (and the red wine and meat mixture too). The stock will develop a hard whitecap. That is the fat, and now it is easy to remove. Strain the gelatinous stock to get out most of the particles.
Prepare the veggies you will want to add to the stew. In this case I have carrots, green beans, mushrooms and onion.
Add the veggies, the meat with the wine, and the stock all together and boil until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While I served it with a slice of bread here, this is a great opportunity to create a bread bowl, if you feel so inclined.