January 24, 2018 10:33:30 AM
During the recent bomb cyclone snowstorm, I couldn't go to the store for several days as I waited to get plowed out of my driveway. I had plenty of food, but a lot of it was that first of January "diet" food and I was craving a warm stick-to-your ribs stew.
It became a challenge to see what I had on hand that I could assemble into a dish that would warm my bones and satisfy my appetite. I had a hanger steak in the freezer and carrots, mushrooms, shallots and garlic on hand. I had half a bottle of burgundy (pinot noir) left over from the last supper before the storm and so a beef burgundy stew immediately came to mind.
Because I had never made a beef burgundy stew before, and was short on time, I decided to use my handy electric pressure cooker. I am a new fan of these one-pot meals and amazed at the flavor that you can coax out of a pressure cooker.
I decided to cook the hanger steak whole and still partially frozen, and cut it into chunks once it was done. I like the texture of the meat better this way even though almost every stew recipe out there tells you to chunk it up first. If you don't want to use hanger steak, there are other cuts of beef that you can use.
I cleaned and sliced the carrots into round slices, cut the white mushrooms in half so that they would retain their shape during the pressure cooking, peeled the skins from the garlic cloves and the shallots but left them whole so that they would peel apart once they were cooked and add chunkiness to the stew.
To peel the garlic, I tried a new tip that will change your garlic-peeling life. I know it changed mine. A friend who does not cook, but microwaves, told me that you could microwave garlic and the peel will slide off. Like most people, I find peeling the skin off garlic cloves to be tedious.
To that end, I have tried everything including the silicone tube that promises to peel garlic but only works a fraction of the time. Having nothing to lose, I took half a bulb of garlic and placed it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I removed it, and it broke into individual cloves immediately. I then rubbed the cloves between my fingers and the peel slipped right off. New year, new kitchen tip!
But back to the stew. Once I made it, I realized that it would be even better the next day, so I poured the stew into a Dutch oven and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Besides letting all the flavors marry, I love doing this because you can skim the fat in one fell swoop by picking the solidified fat off the top. Below is all the flavor but none of the fat. This is an excellent trick for chicken soup and many other one pot soups and stews that start with raw meat.
If you want to eat the stew immediately, you can skim the fat off the top the old-fashioned way, or just eat it. I thickened my stew with an old-fashioned roux of browned butter and flour, but you could also thicken it with corn starch. Serve the stew over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or gnocchi for a very satisfying cold-weather meal.
BURGUNDY BEEF STEW
Start to finish: 75 minutes
1 hanger steak brisket or boneless short ribs, 1 1(backslash)2-2 pounds
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
2 large carrots, cleaned and sliced into rounds
1/2 bulb garlic, 6-9 individual cloves peeled
6-8 shallots, peeled and trimmed
1 package (8-ounces) white mushrooms, cleaned, cut in half
1 quart (4 cups) beef broth or stock
2 cups red burgundy (pinot noir)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Nutrition information per serving: 364 calories; 139 calories from fat; 16 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 77 mg cholesterol; 42 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 25 g protein.