Coby Van Ruiten’s Zinfandel Beef Stew
Van Ruiten Family
3-4 lbs. boneless beef stew meat cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch cubes
24 pearl onions (braised)
2/3 cup sliced carrots
12 halved small red potatoes
3 cups quartered sautéed mushrooms
5 to 6 cups Zinfandel (or 1 btl of wine + beef broth)
3 large unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. softened butter
Browning the meat: Dry the meat thoroughly. Add a ¼ inch of oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven and set over high heat. When hot, brown as many pieces of the meat as will fit in one layer without crowding. Turn frequently to brown on all sides (about 3-5 minutes); remove and set aside until all meat is browned.
Pour a cup of the wine/broth into the Dutch oven, swishing and scraping up any coagulated juices. Add the meat, garlic, and four more cups of the wine/broth into the casserole; fold in the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. You should have enough liquid to almost cover the beef; add more if needed.
Stew the beef for 2 hours at 325 degrees. After 2 hours, add the vegetables and continue to cook until tender. Cook at a slow simmer, either on top of the stove or in the oven, stirring occasionally. To finish and thicken the stew, stir in butter-flour (buerre-manie sauce) paste to desired consistency. Serve and enjoy with a bottle of Van Ruiten Zinfandel!