Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Hoisin Sauce

This recipe is absolutely amazing. It's not really a summer dish, but I found the recipe and couldn't resist making it right away. It's super rich and decadent, smells amazing, and isn't challenging to make. However, it does take a really long time to make. Plan to have at least 3 hours. You don't need to babysit the stew, however, so you can definitely do other things while cooking. Both bf and I loved this stew, so I would really recommend it.

Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Hoisin Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

I started by doing a lot of prep. I used my mini Cuisinart to chop up about 3.5 onions. I also chopped up the beef and trimmed off the fat and excess. This was no easy task and I definitely needed to wrestle with the meat. I settled into a nice rhythm towards the end and next time it will be easier. Don't worry about a little veining because the meat cooks for so long that it really melts and the meat is incredibly soft. Once the meat was ready, I heated up two tablespoons of olive oil and then cooked the meat until all sides were browned, about 10 minutes.

This next step would have been much easier with a different pot. An oval-shaped dutch oven would really do the trick. The recipes tells the cook to push the meat to the sides and cook the onions in the last two tablespoons of olive oil in the center of the pot. Because my pot is tall, but relatively narrow, this suggestion was challenging. The onions kind of mixed in with my beef, despite my best efforts. Also, the onions weren't really able to brown because of all the beef juices pooled in the center. I don't think it harmed the taste at all, but it's something worth noting.

Once the onions were soft, after about 10-15 minutes, I added one cup of wine, the tomatoes, hoisin sauce and the bay leaves. I then covered the pot and simmered the stew for 45 minutes. Next time, I would add the carrots half way through this step because they could have been a little softer.

After the stew had been simmering for 45 minutes, I added another cup of wine and the carrots and simmered for another 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, I took of the lid and turned up the heat and let the sauce thicken for about 15 minutes on high heat. Then I added the cornstarch mixture and cooked for another 8 minutes.
Finally, I served two extremely hot bowls of stew. It was delicious with a little Parmesan, salt and pepper!

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