I Fall To Pieces Beef Stew

January  6, 2010
Photo by Ren Fuller
Author Notes

New Year Day my boyfriend and I had an epic fight, one of those fights that leave you emotionally bruised and battered and wondering if communicating via sock puppet is really as crazy as it sounds...I woke up melancholy and in need of comfort, which I so often find at the stove. I needed the simple steady even prep of making stew, the long wait for flavors to develop, homey nurturing smells wafting through our tiny apartment. I knew that leaving the stew on the stove simmering would lure him out of his fog of anger and into a better place. Cooked with love it was a gift to him and to us.

If you've got it in you.. this would be wonderful with buttery mashed potatoes...or you could add a few cubed potatoes in about 2 hours into the cooking time if you like. —Aliwaks

  • Serves 4
  • Beef Stew
  • 3 pounds chuck roast, cubed
  • 2 beef shank with marrow
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup carrots, brunoise
  • 1/4 cup celery, brunoise
  • 1/2 cup onions, bruinoise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 to 8 cippolini onions, peeled, halved
  • 1 cup carrots, large chunks
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 to 4 cups red wine (dry)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parsley Lemon Horseradish Gremolata
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tiny garlic clove, smashed to pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
  • Squeeze, lemon juice
  • Fleur du sel
In This Recipe
  1. Beef Stew
  2. Pat meat dry and season generously with salt, pepper, and Korean red pepper flakes—try not to weep as meat must be dry in order to brown properly.
  3. Fry bacon cubes till crisp, remove, pour off half the fat and set aside—resist the urge to do a shot of bacon fat with bacon bits, it will do you no good.
  4. Brown meat in bacon fat, do this in batches, you don't want to crowd the meat, it needs space (sob), set the browned meat in a bowl to catch any juices.
  5. Pour off a bit of the beef fat and add mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion), bay leaf, and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and sweat the vegetables.
  6. Add tomato paste, push the mirepoix off to the side of the pan and make a little solo area for the tomato paste, push and prod it a bit till it starts to turn rusty in color, when that happens, mix it all up together.
  7. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir that a bit to cook the flour.
  8. Add in carrot chunks, cippolini onions, and any bacon bits left over from your constant snacking. Stir that in as well.
  9. Pour a small bit of the beef stock into the pan, just enough to get all the fond, really get in deep to get to the bottom of it all.
  10. Add beef chunks along with all of the juice that may have seeped out.
  11. Add remaining beef stock and whatever wine you have not guzzled alongside the bits of bacon.
  12. Cover, put on back burner, and let it stew, simmer for about 3 hours on low. Go out and get your nails done or go to your best friend's house, do something constructive, do not stare at it willing it to be done whilst drinking more wine or eating bacon.
  13. It will be done when the meat is soft and welcoming, the marrow has oozed from the bones, and the onions have disintegrated into gooey sweet bits.
  1. Parsley Lemon Horseradish Gremolata
  2. Combine everything but the fleur du sel.
  3. Sprinkle a bit over bowl of warm stew, add flurry of fleur du sel..relax enjoy...
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