Glorious Oven Baked Beef Stew
*2 tbsp flour
*1 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper
*3 lb. beef stew meat
*2 tbsp canola oil, divided
*2 tbsp brandy
*2 onions, chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*2 celery ribs, chopped
*3 carrots, chopped
*1 bouquet garni
*1 lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
*1 1/2 C dry white wine
*1 tbsp red currant jelly
*5 C of beef broth
1. Preset the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl toss together the flour, salt and pepper until well combined, then add the beef and toss to coat completely.
3. Place 1 tbsp of the canola oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until completely browned.
4. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. Stir the brandy into the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the remaining oil and onions.
6. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions are soft.
7. Stir in the garlic and stirring constantly cook 1 minute.
8. Add the celery, carrots and bouquet garnish and cook for 8 minutes or until soft.
9. Stir in the mushrooms and adjust the heat to medium high. Add the wine and let bubble for 3 minutes. Stir in the jelly.
10. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish.
11. Stir in the beef broth, cover and bake 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender.
Makes about 8 servings.
If you like a nice rich, flavorful stew, this is a good choice. You can serve it over or alongside mashed potatoes if you like - this is NOT soupy. If you'd like more of a soup consistency, you can add more beef broth, then serve in bowls with crusty bread.
The surprising ingredients - brandy, wine, and red currant jelly - create a beef stew that is very different than what you might be accustomed to. Lots of flavor layers!
A 'bouquet garni' is a cluster of herbs, tied together with a string, then removed after cooking is done. Use any variety of herbs you like; just leave them whole on the stems. I use rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf.
This stew freezes nicely, too. Allow the leftovers to cool, then put in freezer containers. It will keep for several months. Be sure the meat in the containers is totally submerged in liquid to keep the meat moist.