Insanely flavorful beef stew that begs to be eaten in front of a fire while wearing a giant sweater and fuzzy socks.
2 1/2 lbs stew meat chopped into 2" cubes
3 oz smoked pork jowl or thick cut bacon cut into 1/4" dice
1 C flour
1 lb carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
3 ribs celery, 1/2" dice
1 large sweet yellow onion 1/2" dice
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 T tomato paste
2 T worcestershire sauce
6 thyme springs and 1 large rosemary sprig, tied together with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
2 C red wine (plus splash for deglazing)
2 C low sodium beef broth
3 oz dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted (reserve liquid)
1 C frozen peas
1 C frozen pearl onions
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Place porcinis in a bowl of lukewarm water to reconstitute for 30 minutes
Sprinkle stew meat generously with salt and pepper and let sit for about 20 minutes
While you wait, prep your veggies and cook your pork jowl
Heat a little olive oil in large dutch oven over medium high heat
Add the smoked pork jowl and cook until it has rendered most of its fat and the pieces are crispy. Remove the pork jowl, pour off most of the fat. Just leave enough to coat the bottom of your pot.
Place flour in a gallon size zip lock bag along with the beef and shake until all the beef is coated in flour.
Working in batches, brown your meat on all sides. Add a little olive oil if your pot gets too dry. Don't worry about the brown bits on the bottom. These are going to give your stew a crazy depth of flavor. If you are worried it will scorch, reduce the heat and add a little oil.
Once all the meat is browned, remove and set aside.
Add a splash of the wine and deglaze your pot, scraping up all those delightful browned bits.
Add onion, celery and carrot and cook about 10 minutes until veggies start to get soft
Add shallot and garlic cook 3 minutes more
Add tomato paste and Worcestershire cook another 3 minutes
Remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the bowl and set aside- add the reserved liquid to the pot
Add the wine, beef broth, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.
Return browned beef to the pot
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer
Cover and place in 275 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender
After 2 hours, add peas, onions and porcini mushrooms.
Remove the thyme/rosemary bundle and the bay leaves.