This is an old family recipe, tweaked by yours truly with the addition of leftover brewed coffee and other flavorful ingredients, particularly root vegetables. Super for fall meals and entertaining. A tad involved, but worth the effort for the final flavorful result. —J.B.
beef chuck cut in 1" cubes
fat, a mix of oil and butter
large red onion, sliced into half moons
small cloves garlic, sliced
a.p. flour +additional, as needed
allspice or cloves
beef stock OR
strong brewed coffee
Red Bliss potatoes cut in 1/2" chunks
carrots cut in 1/2" chunks
each, turnip, parsnip, rutabaga, cut in 1/2" chunks
Put flour, salt, sugar, dried seasonings; paprika, allspice or cloves, into a plastic or paper bag and shake to combine. Add the beef cubes in batches to coat. Meanwhile, on your stovetop in a Dutch oven bring the fat mixture to a shimmer. Add the beef cubes and brown, allowing a fond (crust) to form in the bottom of the pan. Be careful and deliberate with this step as you want that fond to build. It is the basis for a flavorful gravy.
After the meat is sufficiently browned, add the onions and garlic, stirring gently and quickly, about 1 minute on low-medium heat.
Add the liquids of your choice to the meat onion and garlic mix, use about 4 cups of liquid, stirring to blend. Raise the heat slightly and bring to a slight simmer.
Additionally, add the liquid seasonings, lemon juice, Worcestershire, soy sauces, bay leaves a few tablespoons of chopped parsley, and retain the simmer. Cover the pan and allow to simmer gently for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking.
After 1-1/2 hours, remove the bay leaves, peppercorns and any other whole seasonings you may have added, (i.e., whole cloves in lieu of ground). Add carrots, potatoes, any of the root vegetables you have chosen, and return the cover, cooking for 30-45 minutes more. If needed more liquid, water, or wine may be added.
After testing for tenderness, remove the meat and veggies keeping them warm as you make optional gravy.
Skim most of the fat from your cooking liquid, measure it. You should have about 3 cups of liquid. Put 1/2 cup water in a shaker or mason jar with a top, add about a level 1/4 cup A.P. flour, shake the mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture slowly to the meat juices, stirring or whisking constantly until liquid bubbles and thickens. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over meat and veggies in a serving utensil and serve with bread and a good green salad.