Maribeth’s Beef Stew

Large fireproof Dutch Oven, 3 inches deep (large size)

1 -2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
2 pounds lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
4 carrots chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/2 cup green pepper,
1/2 cup red pepper chopped
1 – 2 large onion chopped
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 cups of a full-bodied young red wine, or a Chianti (I used a Burgundy)
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic chopped
1/2 – 1 teaspoon thyme (to taste. I tend to go a little heavy on spices)
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered, sauteed in butter
3 medium potatoes peeled and quartered.
1 package frozen peas with pearl onions

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Place olive oil in Dutch Oven and toss beef in flour and then saute the beef. Remove to dish.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. (You may need to add a little more olive oil.) Cook mushrooms in saute pan with butter.

Return the beef to the Dutch Oven and toss with the salt and pepper. Add mushrooms.

Stir in the wine and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is  covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 3 – 4 hours. Add potatoes after 1 hour. Then add the frozen peas and pearl onions. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

For immediate serving: Serve in its casserole.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

Serves 8

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