I originally tested this recipe on my roommates during our time off for Hurricane Sandy. We were extremely lucky in that we had power throughout the frankenstorm and other then a few downed trees, very little damage in our neighborhood. The local Safeway was out of many of the ingredients I needed to make the dish I originally intended to make but they had everything I wanted for the stew minus mushrooms; luckily Trader Joes had them today. The dish takes a bit of time, and I'm sure it could possibly be done in the crock, but I feel like there is nothing better than stove simmered stew. The way the flavors meld but don't break is at once fascinating and rather inspiring. Additionally the fond (what those little bits that stick to the bottom of a pan are called) created through the browning process pack a flavor punch that continues to blow me away once the pan has been properly deglazed. Don't be intimidated by the process, I have a very simple method and the stew is absolutely worth it!
Today's Cast of Characters:
What to Do:
|French Mustard and Beef Stew|
Ingredients:1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 tbsp snipped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut in approximately 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 medium onions peeled and cut in wedges
5 or 6 carrots
1 8 ounce package cremini mushrooms
1 package itty bitty potatoes or 8-10 small red potatoes halved
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 32 ounce package beef stock
1 bay leaf
Directions:1. In large bag combine flour, herbs de Provence , thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add beef and shake to coat. Get your oil going on medium high in the meantime.
2. Chop up your veggies and put them all in a bowl. I just give the carrots a rough chop, make thick half moons with the onion and cut the mushrooms into a few pieces.
3. Reserve the excess flour but remove your coated beef from the bag and throw it in the pot and stir occasionally until brown.
4. Once the beef is browned, stir in onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Cook and stir for about three minutes then stir in tomato paste, mustard, and remaining flour mixture.
5. Next add the beef stock a little at a time while stirring the mix and scraping the bottom of the pan. The fond should come right off after a few ominous sizzles and you stock will taste all the better for it. Once all the beef stock is in add the bay leaf.
6. Bring your mix up to boiling and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer one and a half hours until beef is almost tender. Snip in some basil and cook another 30 minutes. The beef is basically done before the basil goes in but I just love making it even more tender.
7. Before eating, remove and discard bay leaf. I generally serve this up in bowls with a bit of crusty bread for sopping up all the deliciousness. Enjoy!